Funkstörung: Appendix

Now channeling their energies into solo endeavours, Chris de Luca and Michael Fakesch bid adieu to their Funkstörung guise with a final twelve-track remix collection. The range of artists is broad (from Lusine ICL to the Raveonettes) but the surgical, hi-tech, hip-hop style of de Luca and Fakesch ensures that a prevailing sense of unity reigns, whatever the fluctuations in quality of the original material.

Anything but minimalists, the digital scalpel-wielding duo give cuts by Spacek (“1 st Stroke”), Phon.o (“Trick or Treat”), and Barry Adamson (a clavinet-soaked “Whispering Streets”) ultra-intricate electro-funk workouts before cooling the pace with treatments of ballads by Björk and Lamb. Funkstörung cloaks the Icelandic chanteuse's “All is Full of Love” in writhing clatter-funk and rumbling skitter that's not so dominant it negates the beautiful original; likewise, “Heaven” gets a radical makeover without the understated appeal of Lamb's song getting lost in the process. Sometimes, Funkstörung adopts a more restrained approach (their contributions to Raveonettes' “Love in a Trashcan” and Enik's “No Fire” verge on subliminal, comparatively speaking); at other times, de Luca and Fakesch almost supplant the original with their group signature (Nils Petter Molvær's “Axis of Ignorance” becomes booty-bass rumble in their hands). Soul, funk, and hip-hop memorably convene on Beanfield's “Close to You” while “Sustain” combines the surgical artistry of Lusine ICL and Funkstörung.

Certainly Appendix comes across as a solid enough showcase of Funkstörung's remix skills; to their credit, de Luca and Fakesch always find a way to make the original material sound as good if not better. Furthermore, while Funkstörung has often been discussed in the same breath as Autechre, the former's earth-bound remixes often satisfy more than Autechre's fractal-physics interpretations. Having said that, Funkstörung's leave-taking would impress more had its parting shot been a collection of original material on par with its best release, 2000's Appetite for Discstruction, rather than a remix set.

January 2007