Funckarma: Dubstoned EP 3
Eat Concrete

Never before have I heard as much spring in Funckarma's step as there is on its latest EP Dubstoned 3, nominally the third in a series of dubstep-based releases by the Dutch outfit. It's as if the Funcken brothers' music has undergone a transfusion of sorts, with some newly developed drug having been injected into it. On previous releases, the group's tracks often have been downtempo, even at times lugubrious, but the new EP's six tracks (two of them bonus, digital cuts) roar with energy, conviction, and purpose.

That difference is evident from the first moment when “Hawking Radiation” rolls out a tight, rimshot-driven 4/4 pulse that's as wild as a roller-coaster car's first plunge, and its pulsating bass pattern lends the tune an urgency that elevates its heady, dub-infused blaze. “Moor” (spiced with vocal interjetions by one Kobya CX Panguana) likewise charges with an amped-up groove that's as much dub as dubstep. By contrast, the digital-only “Solaz Flair” serves up a crushing dubstep workout filled with swollen bass smears and primal vocal accents, while the other bonus, Herrmutt Lobby's “Nays of Dight” remix, likewise gets filthy with a heavy blend of cut-up beats and squiggly synth madness. “Delibel” brings the intensity level down a notch so that the lead piano voice can be heard amidst the still-animated flow, whereas “Sovtron” gets the award for the most radiant cut by soaking its driving pulse in a bath of deep synth washes and smears. Some mention also must be made of the production style, which presents the material—even at its densest—with a crisp clarity. More than ten years after its inception, Don and Roel's Funckarma project sounds more vital today than it ever has.

April 2010