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funckarma
solid state
dub   2001
  see also
"parts"
"part 5"
dub website
funcken brothers website

album rating: 3
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submitted by anton on 10-Jun-2001
ever since I heard “parts” and got instantly captivated by its sound, I have been impatiently waiting for this album. I am glad to see the band progress, keeping its own distinct style, and venturing out to slightly different directions, creating richer, more complex and more “mature” (for the lack of a better term) music.

basically, like with most idm out there, funckarama’s sound is built around layered intricate percussion and melodic pieces. the trademark “toughness” of percussion is still here, as intricate as usual, and while it never bothered me on “parts” and actually was one of the first selling points), this time around it is so much more integrated into the overall mix, that it becomes obvious how much effort and talent is required to reach this level.

the thing that makes the whole difference in the world is the fact that no matter how much wizardry and chaos has been introduced into funckarama’s music, the overall track is always a solid, cohesive experience. it never appears too scattered or disjointed, and it is always interesting, to the point when all the technical details merely supplement the overall picture, as opposed to being a central point of music. and of course those technical details are breathtaking – complex, layered percussion that funckarama has been always famous for, but this time it is less straightforward – richer, more complex, more multifaceted.

it is interesting to notice all the different sounds and samples used that blend in so seamlessly – be it a slight hint of hip-hop scratching, or distant cold, almost dark ambient gust of wind, or delicate acoustic piano, or sampled funky vocal line. it all mixes up amazingly well to the point where it becomes a part of overall dense texture.

some of the melodies are almost cinematic – truly monumental, gorgeous passages. they are surrounded by myriads of coolest little sounds, noises, hisses, bleeps. the main percussion line is prominent, carrying the weight of fuzzy layered sound and shimmering keys and gentle melody. at times there’s a gentle piano line joining the music. it is a complex, polytonal structure that is both abstract and wonderfully “earthly”. at times it reaches toughest moments of “parts”, and it times it slows down and flows carefully in almost minimal, dreamy fashion. it has a definite feel and style that is far beyond many out there that prefer shock tactics and glitter of digital extravaganza to melody and composition.

it is tough to compare this album to anything outside dub label, since it is so fitting the dub trademark sound, but it takes it to the heights that I have never experienced before. I could compare its emotional impact with gridlock’s “trace” or “soup” by bola, but stylistically this comparison would not be possible. all I can really compare it with is “parts.”

this is probably the best combination of melody, complexity and crunchy heaviness I have heard from dub. and this says a lot, considering the label’s stellar lineup. this is the album that takes all the technical perfection of idm genre and uses it in the best way possible to create unique, moving compositions, allowing the listener to enjoy this album on many levels – from purely technical to deeply emotional.

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