Finnish techno artist Kimmo Rapatti, aka Mono Junk, seems like a strange choice to release on Rat Life. The Uncanny Valley spin off imprint has put out The Pagan Rites’ post-punk, Mick Wills edits and label owner Credit 00’s dance floor tools. While at times identifiable with the dance floor, Rat Life’s approach comes more from an edit/crossover perspective rather than the precise, crisp purism of minimal techno.
However, on the basis of this four-tracker, it seems that Rapatti has made an effort to meet the Rat Life aesthetic halfway. “Can’t Understand” is a dark, acid-laced pulsing groove that features the stuttering vocal sample ‘can’t understand… what, what you say’. Similarly, “Leave This Feeling” is far removed from bare to the bones minimalism. Its stop-start drums and rhythm are abrasive, but the slurred vocal sample and loopy feel lend it a playful, fun feeling.
The same can’t be said about the title track: “State of Funk” doesn’t have an underlying 4/4 kick. Instead, it revolves around a powerful combination of sub-bass blasts and churning filters, hyperactive claps and shuffling 808s and, as the arrangement progresses, some mellow synth melodies. If this is Rapatti’s attempt at making electro, it’s dangerously unhinged; it has little bearing on the majority of retro-obsessed releases and augurs well for the Finnish producer to further explore this path.
However, the most impressive track on this release is “Panic of the Disco Fan”. It unites the tendency in Rapatti’s music towards Nordic gloominess with the electronic disco of Rat Life regulars like Dunkeltier; the synths and are cold, melancholic and in places down right chilling, the bass purrs with all the might of a polar storm and the end result sounds like Mono Junk’s uniquely detached vision of Italo Disco. It’ll leave the listener wondering what the Rat Life label has up its figurative sleeve next.
1. Can’t Understand
2. Leave This Feeling
3. Panic Of The Disco Fan
4. State Of Funk