Photographer: Gord McKenna.
A full decade after Return to Acid Planet 10, producers Michael Fakesch and Chris De Luca reunite as Funkstörung to deliver their fourth long player. Unlike that recording, this self-titled album features all-new tracks. The duo don't push boundaries or really reinvent anything here (though on some level, they can't help themselves when it comes to sonics). Instead, they focus on their core strength: writing sensual IDM pop songs full of spare, sonorous melodies set to hip-hop and elliptical electro beats with irresistible basslines. Nine of these 14 cuts include vocals and are delivered by a host of friends old and new. First single "Laid Out (one of four tunes featuring Anothr), remains a highlight, but it is nearly eclipsed by the soulful "So Simple," with Jamie Lidell on the mike. Australian duo Audego lend their spacy, jazzy, trip-hop stylings to "FalI Into You." Jay-Jay Johanson adds his voice to the aching, glitch-ridden "I Love Him So" as ziggy synth shards and acoustic piano loops frame his airy tenor. The darkest tune in this bunch is the tense, taut, nearly cinematic "Killers," featuring Taprikk Sweezee, with a lyric that juxtaposes eros and heartbreak. The spectral, languid "Chnnl" and the brooding, creepy "Slo" are the only two instrumentals that don't act as brief ambient interludes to link vocal tracks. There is a wonderful bluesy feel in Adi's vocal on "Who Is Who," with its crawling, downtempo snare colored and textured by a slow-strolling synth, hypnotic bassline, and icy breaks. Funkstörung have a history of looking to the past for inspiration. Here they remind longtime fans of their requisite skills as songwriters (think back to Disconnected) while offering enough sultry, elegant, and seductive beat constructions to attract a new legion as well. ~ Thom Jurek