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Monday, January 31, 2011

BUY THIS ALBUM: Funckarma - "Elaztiq Bourbon 5"

Continuing on with the musical lineage of the brothers Funcken, this is the album that got me into their main project, Funckarma. Funckarma is an fairly diverse project (covering idm, hip hop, dubstep, etc), and for that reason can be hit or miss. Also, considering that there are something like 20 or 30 releases bearing that moniker, it can be difficult to determine which one(s) to check out. Elaztiq Bourbon 5 is a fantastic IDM album with that meaty, dreamlike, and futuristic old school sound, which is somewhat similar to the Quench albums I mentioned in the last entry. The synthwork is very complex, but does not sacrifice beauty or melody in order to achieve technical dominance. There is some ethereal (in a futuristic, non goth way) and visionary stuff in here; I love to put this on and drift off to mental images of cold, perfect cities and geometric fractal-based landscapes. It contains two of my favorite IDM songs ever, 'Sphere' and 'Pipe'. The album in it's entirety is solid, but these two really stand out to me. The CD version of this, released in 2005 on Sending Orbs, is pretty difficult to find (Sending Orbs stuff usually moves quickly, and I have yet to see a hardcopy of this), however, thankfully, this was re-released in digital form in 2009, remastered and containing a bonus track. Like the Quench releases, this album is, in my opinion, a must have for all fans of IDM. If you're familiar with the Sending Orbs label than you know that they always focus on having amazing artwork for their releases, and this one is no exception. For this reason, I wish I could find it in hardcopy, but the digital version at least has fairly high-res versions of all the panels.

Apparently 2005 was sort of the end of the Fucken melodic/atmospheric IDM dynasty; after this album they went on to make Bion Glent which, like later Autechre, focuses more on pushes the boundaries of technical fuckery and digital signal processing wank than structure or melody. And again, like old Autechre, it may go over the edge for some, including myself. Still though, it's worth checking out for it's technical genius.

You can obtain this from the store on their website: http://www.funckarma.com

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