Well, that was not what I was expecting at all. However, I don’t know what I was expecting. The album title doesn’t make a lot of sense, not to me anyway, the press release was in German, and any online presence or useful description seems elusive. So, there is only one thing to be done in such a situation. Drop the needle and see what emerges.
With the word “funkatears” in the title, I was perhaps expecting something groovesome and funky, and, to a degree, that lies at the heart of these six long instrumentals. But it is a million miles away from the mainstream funk of, say, Brown, Collins and Clinton, instead more industrial, jagged and eclectic, like a computer that had learned how to make dance music by listening to Einstürzende Neubauten or perhaps if a fully automated, car plant production line had learned how to dance.
And I say all of this in a good way, for the music is experimental, forward-thinking and undoubtedly unique. But the trouble (or perhaps the blessing) that comes from encounters with such visionary (or perhaps wayward) music is that it is difficult to find sensible comparisons, and it is safe to say that Fly Iz No Furniture is like little you would have heard before.
If opener Adf is fractured and challenging, constantly searching for a groove or a hook that it never quite finds, there is something much warmer and coherent about Cbd Rulez. It’s a strange blend of guttural, digital-vocal grunts and dance grooves, strange and beguiling electronica and odd interludes, not perhaps mainstream but certainly much more accessible than some of the other music found here.
The title track also comes across as a more cohesive and melodic piece, occasionally breaking off from its main thrust to drop into odd interludes or reach hypnotic highs but, by and large, a body of work that could easily grace the clubland dancefloors of the more cultish, discerning and alternative hangouts.
But as if to remind us who is calling the shots, who is really in charge here, Freakz returns us to the strange, slightly psychotic world of pummelling beats, overdriven bass pulses, eclectic electronica and enticing interludes. Often seeming less like dance music but perhaps an anagram of dance music…if there is such a thing.
Some music is made by people following the rules. Some by people who ripped up the rule book. I suspect that Funkatears Electro never really knew the rules in the first place, and I suspect that they never really cared, either. But it is through such an approach that the boundaries of music get expanded, that new genres evolve, old scenes are allowed to die, and new sounds are allowed to percolate, bloom and blossom…eventually sending their own strange psychedelic sonic seeds out into the world.
I may not quite get what is happening here, but it is something new, necessary and definitely important!