Review: The title track on FunkinEven's latest Eglo jam takes no time at all in declaring its intentions in decimating the dance. A stomping beat and nasty acid line get scuppered by edits that display a desire to screw people's heads up just when they were getting into the groove. "Take Back" ploughs a similar furrow, but with a many-limbed b-boy swerve where "Roland's Jam" was all rigid 4/4 stomp. "XXX" gets even more explicitly acidic as the 303 comes through in full effect. Those with a soft-spot for rough stuff will lap this up and come back begging for more!
Review: Whatever you think of Julio Bashmore, he should be given a lot of credit for getting Funkineven onto his Boardwalk label. Stevie J's particular blend of drum machine abuse, intergalactic synths and wonky acid funk is amongst the freshest in house right now, as Species proves. The centrepiece is the eight-minute "The Joker", a decidedly raw fusion of jacking 909 drums, interstellar chords and sci-fi melodies that, at one point, brilliantly slows down and speeds up again, "French Kiss"-style. There's plenty to get excited about elsewhere, though, from the title track's beatless, string-laden atmospherics, to the acid assault of "Aviator" and the next-level Detroit techno meets-electrofunk madness of "Mars".
Review: Funkineven and Fatima are no studio strangers, each sharing credits on the others previous Eglo releases but this is without doubt their best work together to date. Eglo could have just dropped "Phoneline" as a one track release and we'd be singing it's praises to anyone that can hear, so kudos to all involved for complementing the track with further examples of Funkineven and Fatima's obvious studio chemistry. "90s" echoes the satin dipped R&B antics of TLC at their most sultry, whilst it's complemented by that killer swinging boom bap arrangement from Funks, while "East To West" crosses LA boogie vibes with some off the scale rhythmic subtleties that would do Maurice Fulton proud, with Fatima showing the breadth of their vocal range over the elastic groove. This 12" is dominated by the brilliance of "Phoneline" however, with Fatima and Funkineven indulging in flirtatious chatter over demented yet slick as f*ck MPC manipulation. It's one of those tracks that tops the charts for months to come in the bizarro world we'd rather live in - I guess we'll have to make do with jamming this in every dancehall possible.
Review: The ever increasing understanding between Apron and Wild Oats and the many artists affiliated with both labels continues to bear fruit for those out there that like their house music raw and rugged. The idea alone of young Detroit talent Jay Daniel getting behind the buttons with suave Stevie Funkineven should set the pulses racing and both "Discipline" and "Abyss" will leave you craving more from this partnership. There's an effortless glide to "Discipline" as both keep the drums to a minimal yet bugged out line of kicks, leaving it to those killer keys and thick-set chords to hit you in the gut and the hips. "Abyss" finds the duo opting for a more pared back, abstract production where rhythm is kept to a minimum as the space is filled with tweaked out motifs that sound like a paranoia-filled John Carpenter.
Review: Although Funkineven's been an Eglozoid from the label's early days, recent times have seen the producer and DJ develop an independent streak, establishing his own Apron label and laying down collaborative roots with like-minded stateside artists Kyle Hall and Delroy Edwards. The bond is still strong however, and Funkineven makes a superb return to Eglo colours here with "Egypt" a cut described quite aptly by the label as a "Sakamoto-esque journey over the pyramids," combining throbbing sub bass with pulsating synth buzz. On the virtual flip is Gifted & Blessed's "Reflexes", a highlight amongst highlights of the Eglo Records Vol 1 compilation issued earlier this year and here committed to wax for the very first time. The track's fractured analogue nature is a fine accompaniment to Funkineven's A-side.