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FunkinEven – Roland’s Jam review

Along with a strain of likeminded future-jackers including John Heckle and Boddika, FunkinEven is one of those musical renegades surrounded by pretenders to the acid throne. From his surprising abode amongst the soulful ranks of Floating Points et al chez Eglo Records, he’s flung out a series of essential, if decidedly unhinged, 12”s and Roland’s Jam continues that legacy with gusto.

The title track takes no time at all in declaring its intentions as a squelchy beast aimed at decimating the dance. A stomping beat and nasty acid line form the backbone, which gets scuppered frequently by edits that display a fearless desire to screw people’s heads up just when they were managing to get lost in the groove. It’s almost lean in comparison to previous releases, but certainly no less deadly. The groove on “Take Back” ploughs a similar furrow, but with a many-limbed b-boy swerve where “Roland’s Jam” was all rigid 4/4 stomp. The synth nags in a similar way, but then leaves plenty of room for all kinds of freaked-out vocal hits and melodic outbursts.

“XXX” meanwhile gets even more explicitly acidic as the 303 action comes through in full effect. As the title might suggest, FunkinEven carries the torch for porno-sampling. It’s a tricky terrain that many haven fallen foul in – and it’s no Omar S “Look Hear Watch” – but he manages to navigate his way through without putting a foot wrong. The samples get even more frenetic and choppy to devastating effect, and once again the man proves just how fresh the most well-worn template in electronic music can still be. The madcap energy of FunkinEven would certainly scare off DJs that like music with control and precision, but those with a soft-spot for rough stuff will lap this up and come back begging for more.

Oli Warwick