Interview with All Good Funk Alliance

Frank Cueto and Rusty Belicek of “All Good Funk Alliance” have been pumping out tunes to shake your ass to for well over a decade. They’ve toured with James Brown, written songs for Coca-Cola, and recently released their new album “Jack of all Trades” on Fort Knox Recordings.

They’ll be throwing it down for fans at this weekend’s Pex Summer Festival and we wanted to talk to them about their music, playing live shows, and a slew of other stuff.

As an added bonus, AGFA is debuting a never-heard-before DJ Mix right here on Independent Philly! It’s titled “Rhythmatical” and you can check it out at the bottom of this interview.

Independent Philly: How did you come up with the name All Good Funk Alliance?

<Rusty> The name was originally what we called our first record label.  We were pretty young at the time when came up with it.  At the time we were doing more techno and decided to go into the funk/breaks scene.  We thought the name would work well for that.

Independent Philly: How did the two of you meet?

<Frank> We both met in college taking audio production classes at NOVA.  I already had a small studio and was dabbling in electronic music.  Rusty was a DJ at the time and we were the only one’s in the class that were into EDM.  He got me into house and breaks.

Independent Philly: What current projects are the two of you working on?

 <Frank> Right now we’re really focusing on our live show.  Our first show went well but we want to keep developing it so it’s been taking up most of our time.  Our studio is also under construction so we can’t do much production at the moment.  But once it’s finished we have a slew of remixes that we will be doing.

Independent Philly: You’re playing at PEX Festival this Friday evening, what can fans expect from an AGFA live performance?

<Rusty> Expect new and old AGFA tunes from us.  We’ll also have Mustafa joining us on stage.  We’ve spent the last few months developing this live show so that it’s more than just hitting play. Electronic music can be notoriously tricky to truly play live without having a mass amount of people on stage. We’ll be actively manipulating and playing elements of our music using trigger pads, synths, drum pads and more.

Independent Philly: Who else are you looking forward to seeing perform at PEX?

 <Rusty> Looking forward to seeing Empressarios and Nappy Riddem. 

 <Frank> Definitely Nappy Riddems and Empresarios, but also Nickodemus and Rob Paine.

Independent Philly: Who is another artist band that you’re dying to collaborate with?

 <Frank>  There’s so many, but I think it would be great to collaborate with some of the legendary Go-Go bands in DC like “Trouble Funk”.  We’ve been trying to develop a style we like to call “Future Go-Go” which was started by Arcadion. Essentially it’s taking the old Go-Go sounds and rhythms and updating them.

Independent Philly: Do you think that the quality of EDM is suffering due to the recent emphasis on the production value of shows?

 <Rusty>  I think big production has always been around.  If you think in the 70’s with Pink Floyd, they were doing massively huge and produced live show’s.  That sort of thing ended with people focusing more on the club scene especially during the grunge days.  Now it’s back to big production. 

<Frank> I think it also has to do with the fact that electronic music is tough to do live so there needs to be a big visual element to it for those types of venues.

Independent Philly: Would you like to give a shout out to your fans?

 <Frank>  thanks to all the fans who continually support us and follow us.  Even when we branch out and experiment with our music, I think the true fans can always hear AGFA in it.

Independent Philly: Tell us something would would surprise or even shock our readers…

<Frank> Before AGFA I was writing music in high school under the name Fixation and Spectrum.

<Rusty> We both also worked in the Patent and Trademark field, Frank still does but I now do music full time.

“RYTHEMATICAL” (exclusive debut):

“This Downtempo mix was done about 10 or so years ago and found on a CD-R that we decided to transfer and give away. It’s the perfect summer time music for your BBQ, Jamboree or Day Rave” -AGFA (Done using 2 technics and a mixer; drops were added later via soundforge)
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