The supreme masters’ are back on vinyl as well as on DUB recordings. Complex beats, plenty of bass, as you would expect from the outstanding and untouchable Funckarma. A bit darker sounding this time around, but as with all their previous releases it is simply brilliant and it doesn’t get any better than this (well that’s my opinion anyhow.) Funckarma have done it again. Know this, you can’t touch them!
R&D Funcken have done it again! And what is that you may ask and the natural answer is: produced and recorded another epic mile-stone-esque full-length album! “Dyn” is released by quality label U-cover, it’s their 16th release and it features the one-of-a-kind masters R&D Funcken under their Quench moniker. You get 11 tracks of the finest electronic music available. You get to hear Funcken re-invent, re-define and re-edit themselves. There’s just no relevant comparison possible. This release comes with the highest possible recommendations. Get it now and your life will improve all you have to do is to embrace the complexity and discover the beauty!
ON is on it again, the second and last release Anno Domino 2003 features the giants of the deep: Funckarma. They’re not newcomers to the ON label and have actually made contributions to three out of four releases so far. The fourth instalment on ON Records will be a four-track remix twelve-inch entitled “DemSongzByWe” and the remixees are: Ontayso, Céline, Kero and Slemper. Apart from Funckarma and ON, Ontayso is the know factor here, because I know for a fact that they’ve previously released on the excellent U-cover label. But, the other parameters are unknown at least to me, (well it seems like Slemper actually released a track on JIP, but since I havn’t heard it yet it doesn’t count) and that makes this EP even more intriguing, if possible. First up is the “Ontayso – Score of an Imaginary Island Iceland Remix”, based on jazz reference and a variety of layered brass instruments. All fused with that unmistakable Funckarma scientific beat programming, dark atmosphere and production skills. In one word: intense. A daring choice for the A1 track some might say, I say excellent choice! But be warned it is not for the fainthearted. Second in line is the “Céline – Here and Now Remix” overall sonic intensity turned down, just a notch, but the bass pressure strikes back instead, in full force and it’s accompanied by some heavily treated vocals. A steady beat drives the track forward to its undeniable logical end. In one word: heavy. Third up is the “Kero – Bent Remix” familiar territory, the intro building up complexity, laying on a steady and ultra-deep bass to hold on to and then those beats… break it down, breath man/woman, breath… there are those melodies and sounds you would kill for. In one word: majestic. Make any sense to you? No? Then get the record! “Slemper – Soccermummy Remix” displays harsher excellent broken beats, a quite hostile sonic environment and glass-like soundscapes. In one word: abusive. I imagine that the outcome of this review must have been keeping anyone who has entered the Electronic Desert before in unbearable suspense, what would the conclusion ultimately be? It’s no secret, that to my mind Funckarma stand in a league of their own and ON104 will most definitely not change that, this is as good as it gets! Musical versatility, beat complexity, bass pressure, emotion and production skills are displayed to the fullest and in a way that no one else musters. I’m getting the vinyl record the very second it is released.
“Lies” is the other out of two 12″ released by Cenik on the American Isophlux imprint (this far). We’re talking about trademark Funcken brothers’ stuff the difference being if any that this leans rather heavily towards the down tempo side of things, with ultra deep basslines and plenty of crunchiness. As always it’s very nice all around. The other side of the four-track 12″ features heavy cut-ups creating a haunting effect, but the warm melody delivers comfort as well as structure, but it’s probably not suitable for the fainthearted. The same could be said for the last track and yet it’s very beautiful music, with astounding power.
The third alias used by the very talented and personal favorites of mine (as you might have guessed if you’re a recurring visitor to Electronic Desert’s review section): the Funcken brothers alias Funckarma alias Quench. And with this 12″, the new pseudonym was not a secret to be kept for very long because there is simply no one else that reasonably could have produced this record. If you like the Funcken way of musical thinking you will get it all: complex beats programming, really nice melodies, abundance of layering, clearly constructed vocal processing etc. Amasingly high quality if you ask me that is.
Making a good hip hop track is not as easy as it may seem as this DUB release demonstrates. A good hip hop track is more than beats and lyrics, you also need a capable lyricist, however Funckarma makes the best of the situation on this 12-inch which is structured in a classical manner: original-, instrumental and acapella versions. It goes without saying that the instrumental versions are the best on this 12-inch which is a remix of a track originally released on the DUB compilation “Men with Boxes”.
After the blinding opening done by this relatively new label the plate number four offered by delikatessen is delivered by none other than Funckarma. The Bourbon 10″ contains four tracks and starts of with the previously released “Noir” and it’s crunchiness defined giving the track a hint of harshness however lush strings creates a soothing background. Apparently “Noir” is also included on a compilation on the label “Prospect Recordings” at the moment unfortunately unheard. The second track “Sphere” is filled with warmth, atmosphere, basslines, string and choir arrangements and the sweetest of melodies. It’s in all aspects a complete and beautiful composition and probably my personal favorite on plate4. The b-side offers “Velvet” a string filled and layered track with steady and solid beats. On the down-tempo side of things the haunting soundscapes creates atmosphere. The fourth and last track “Sparkzz” features more beats of the crunchy persuasion with an abundance of layering, powerful and beautiful melodies with more than a touch of melancholy. Classic stuff! To sum up, yet another fantastic piece of music signed Funckarma out on the label called delikatessen. Apart from the high quality artists releasing contributing to delikatessen’s 10″ series the packaging and artwork is also excellent and naturally the “Bourbon Sounds” 10″ is far from being an exception.
What, another Quench release from they year 2001? Yes, it’s true these two men seem pretty unstoppable! The Funcken brothers got me cornered and there just isn’t anyone outthere coming close to them, when it comes to putting crunchy beats together with mind altering melodies, melancholy and sheer beauty. This particular Aim release isn’t an exception and nor are their previous DUB releases. First track “Spazm” contains warmth, completely saturated with bass and Quench’s beats providing a steady pace throughout the track, which in itself makes this 12″ worth getting. The three remaining tracks “Quad”, “Sin” and “Swordfish” are of the more crunchy persuasion just as good and all following the patented and highly unique Quench formula. In short: top-class, as always from the (unstoppable) Funcken brothers.
It was a while ago this album by Quench was released, in 1999 to be exact. It doesn’t matter it has stood the test of time in a striking manner. Quench unmisstakable take on electronic music shines through on this release as it does on all their releases. The album entitled “A Journey into Electonix” contains some of the songs that were later released as DUB12.2 on the Dutch imprint bearing the same name. The 4 tracks that ended up on the 12″ were probably the very best from this album, but the remaining 7 tracks don’t fall far behind and they are as essential to the album as the others. The first and last tracks are remixes thrown in for good measure, one by Funckarma and the other co-remixed by Llips and Quench. Simply put, it’s brilliant, brilliant and brilliant!
Quench’s “O.M. – X.H.” release on Inc.Us is yet another strong release. With multiple releases on DUB, an album on U-cover and on Eat This they continue their musical mission. Their characteristic beats programming, acute sense of melodies and exceptional atmospheric constructions shine through as always. The 4-track 12″ starts off with beats as crunchy as they get on “Okran” and is followed by a slightly more sinister “Madkem”. The B-side features two tracks: “Xen” and “Hidh”. If you like complex beats, beautiful textures and sounds then you probably like this Quench release as well. It simple really it is top quality stuff.