Sascha Funke


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Sascha Funke released a series of generally well-received (if uneven) 12" singles between 2003's Bravo and this, his second production album. Tracks like "To Be," "In Between Days," and "Auf Aix," all released on Bpitch Control, his home base since departing from Kompakt in 2001, enhanced several mix albums. Made of all-new material -- "Double-Checked," while issued as a stand-alone single, was released almost synchronously with the CD and double vinyl -- Mango is much more about moods and textures than Bravo, the majority of it coming across as a subtle way of mining for film score work. The entirety of the sequence plays out without a second of controlled chaos or anything resembling unbridled restlessness, with only "Double Checked" (one of the album's highlights, a bell-and-handclap-enhanced charger with a vampirish spoken bit) and "Lôtre (Mehr Fleisch)" as possible sops to those who are expecting a set suited for dancing or exceeding the speed limit. It all seems unassuming by design, but the danger in that approach is crossing the wrong side of the fine line that separates cunning subtlety from unaffecting tepidity. No track is outright poor, though "Chemin des Figons" comes dangerously close; its overly simplistic, staid foundation and downcast guitar thrums could almost pass as a missing instrumental by post-punk poseurs She Wants Revenge. At the other extreme is the album's opener, a darkly glowing, gorgeously melancholy track in which you can really lose yourself. The remainder of the material, while not incredibly remarkable, is easily enjoyable for background listening or deep thought. One of Bpitch Control's more durable and well-made full-lengths, if not a crowning achievement.

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