Funkstörung

Disconnected

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Funkstörung's neat disappearing act near the end of the millennium, after a few years of praise from all quarters, gave their reappearance in 2004 a large element of surprise. Even if the duo hadn't changed with the times, however, it wouldn't have been a problem; their sound was years ahead of its time in 1996, and could have been transported eight years into the future with no difficulty. Unfortunately, Disconnected has only occasional glimpses of the classic Funkstörung sound, and the balance of the record devolves into the style of confessional songwriting and guitar-driven arrangements that lesser electronic acts have since performed and played out. New vocalist Enik appears on four tracks, not by coincidence the worst four tracks of the record. His weary, puzzled delivery reveals no hint of why he was chosen to appear on this record, his lyrics are impossibly obtuse, and he spends an inordinate amount of time worrying his vocals as though the English language was a playground for artistic expression. Funkstörung's previous flirtations with hip-hop have paid many dividends (their unlikely remix of Wu-Tang Clan for a German 12" is a career highlight), and the two collaborations with rapper Tes are both excellent; "Chopping Heads" balances a series of genius beats randomly organized into chunky funk, and Tes' vocals are signal-processed to perfection. The duo of Michael Fakesch and Chris de Luca are far too talented as producers to waste time writing desultory songs with Lamb's Louise Rhodes and Massive Attack collaborator Sara Jay, especially when they record so infrequently.

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