I’m useless with technology. Really – I’ll give you an example. The band I’m in on occasion did a pop festival in Aarhus, Denmark. It was a good bill, which culminated in Jens Lekman I recall. We were on about third on the bill, and when our time came, I walked out in front of the couple of hundred people in this big hall in the city. Our singer had forgone the soundcheck, and so I plugged the lead into my bass, and re were ready to go. Except we weren’t. My bass wasn’t making a sound, and so I turned round, and was faced with a multitude of buttons. I tried one, nothing. Another – nothing. The clapping had stopped, and my bandmates awaited expectantly, as i proceeded to press a load of buttons, here, there, everywhere. I looked out at the sound guy in the end – it’s not working, I mouthed. It took him what seemed like an age to get from behind the desk, onto the stage, and press this little black button over which said ‘live’. I remained in the shadows for much of our set that night.
That’s possibly why I have a total respect for those that are fantastically creative with technology. Steve Tony Julien, aka FunkinEven is a London producer who fits that bill very nicely. Originally a dancer, he joined a hip-hop crew, being given the job of producer, and it was as this that he first excelled. Since then he has released a handful of releases of house and disco-house, and has done mixes for the likes of revered electronic label, Hyperdub.
His new ‘Species EP’ comes out on Julio Bashmore’s Boardwalk Records, a label that despite being in its infancy, has shown a remarkable level of quality, not surprising given its head-honcho. This two-track ep continues in the labels tradition. Opening track The Joker builds from this funky keyboard riff into a sort of retro-minimal house beat. It grows, with vocal effects and disco drum effects being thrown into the ring. Suddenly though its slowing, stopping almost, before kicking in again. It’s funky, minimal but more that – slightly daring and tongue in cheek. The second track, Mars again has this minimal sense about it, but is livened up with this pure funk cut-up, and this jagged, stabbing keyboard work that goes on. This is going to be big on the dancefloor. I challenge you not to nod your head along to this one.
One things for sure, if I ever need advice on where the on switch is, I’m going straight to FunkinEven.