An enduring fixture in the techno and electronic music landscape, Dave Sumner continues to step through new terrains, reinforcing his spike and vision. He returns to Tresor Records with a new Function record, entitled Awakening From The Illusory Self.
Seven years after its inception, Eaux is announces the first solo release by an artist other than Rrose. As a member of the Sandwell District collective, David Sumner aka Function was instrumental incultivating the Rrose project. After releasing the first three EPs and album by Rrose between 2012 and 2013, Sandwell District terminated their mission abruptly, prompting Rrose to start a new label (Eaux) for solo projects andcollaborations. This EP brings history full circle.
Since launching in 2011, James Healy’s Air Texture label and compilation series has become something of an institution within the ambient scene. As with its predecessors, the seventh volume in the series has been jointly compiled by two artists with an existing musical relationship, in this case Rrose and Silent Servant. Their selections are on point, drowsily drifting between academic ambient compositions (see Rrose and James Fei’s “For Bass Clarinet 8.97 (Rrose Version)”, uncomfortable electronic explorations (Ron Morelli, Anthony Child), modular movements (Not Waving), jazz-flecked deep space soundscapes (Luke Slater), horror-influenced throb-jobs (Phase Fatale, June & An-i) and 1990s style ambient electronica (Octa Octa, Function).
Yesterday we presented the preferences of our readers from last year, now this is a list of 20 albums from 2019 that made an impression on us.
We have three pure electro albums from E.R.P., Jeremiah R. and Plant43 and the new electro-synthy album of veteran David Carretta, his first solo album for ten years. On the darker side of the synth palette we have two EBM/synth-pop albums from Boy Harsher and Years Of Denial, the debut album of Kris Baha, the third album of Greek producer June, a new one from Jason Letkiewicz aka Steve Summers under his new moniker Opposing Currents and two more industrial albums from Autumns and Colombian Filmmaker.
On the other had we have two acid gems from DimDJ and Paranoid London, the first ever Gladio album, the second album from Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani and an experimental/ambient album from veteran Function on Tresor.
So, here it is compiled in chronological order.
Continue reading “20 Albums from 2019”
For his new album Existenz, Function marks a clear step away from the corporeal techno of his recent releases. Pivoting around themes of religion, sexuality, trauma and healing, it is a work expansive and celebratory, a clear liberation from a deeply internalized past. Formed from a collection of recordings made in a period from late 2016 to mid 2019, Existenz takes the form of a creative outburst in reaction to a number of traumas – recent, childhood and throughout Function’s life. Life partner Stefanie Parnow assisted the production process in its entirety, providing inspiration, spiritual healing and featuring vocal contributions.
Damon Wild and David Sumner (aka Function’s) relationship dates back to 1991 at Lord Michael’s Future Shock, Limelight, New York City – when Damon was running Experimental Records via Northcott Productions. At the time, he first saw something in Dave and added him to Brand X, a record pool run by Moneypenny. But their bond is based around a period 5 years later when Dave had an apartment above Rogue Music at 251 West 30th Street in Midtown, Manhattan. It was during this time Damon developed him as a Synewave artist and released his first EP as Function in the Fall of 1996 – catalog number; SW-24. Falling in and out of contact over the years, across continents, the two have somehow remained on the same cosmic path. So it’s not a coincidence that now Damon has turned to Dave to release his first album in 13 years. This is where those paths cross again…21 years later, this Fall, Dave will release Cosmic Path on Infrastructure. The cosmic connection.
Second issue of Function’s recompiled series on Ostgut Ton’s reissue label A-Ton.
Damon Wild’s Synewave label is still going strong, plunging ever further into the hinterland of looped up techno and dragging your consciousness with it. On this new release Wild is pinging bleeps around the sequencer grid through the course of “Timelapse”, and highly immersive it is too. The “Timemachine dub” of the track is even more seductive with its Sleeparchive-style synth oddities and sparse arrangement. Function comes on board for an un-easier remix of “Timelapse” that veers towards the full-blown paranoid, and then Postscriptum drops a killer version to finish the EP off, all jagged off beat kicks and heavy textural swells.
Function retrospective landing on Ostgut Ton’s sublabel A-Ton. Essential techno selection. Recompiled I/II is the first of two vinyl-only releases of Function, which previously contained unpublished pieces as well as already out of print music. Function, one of the true techno-underground veterans, has been active as DJ and musician for over 25 years. He is a founding member of the Sandwell District collective, Berghain-Resident, operates the Infrastructure label and has been publishing Ostgut Ton since 2013.
Having already unleashed a considerable amount of collaborative magic with the ”Planetary Funk: 22 Light Years” series of remix EPs, Luke Slater has now upped the ante with six full sides’ worth of material,all of them injecting the spirit of classic P.A.S. into new sonic organisms. Behind the controls: Marcel Fengler, Function, Psyk,Octave One, Kamikaze Space Programme, Lucy, Slam and Steve Bicknell.
Function & Inland’s Infrastructure introduces its next milestone – Facticity. A 4×12” vinyl box set, CD and digital compilation featuring 15 tracks by key artists, label colleagues and new faces. Function, Inland, Campbell Irvine, Post Scriptum, Cassegrain & Tin Man, Rrose, Efdemin, Vatican Shadow, Silent Servant, Blue Hour, Steve Bicknell and Cleric all feature, spinning a narrative ranging from lush, ambient electronics and post-club diversions, to contemporary club techno and back again. Carefully curated as an album, Facticity represents the foundations of what Infrastructure stands for – a manifesto for 2016 and beyond.
Drei of Zehn comes with original tracks by Function and Substance as well as Len Faki remixing L.B.Dub Corp.
Its been zehn years, ninety-two 12”; EPs, twenty albums, fourteen DJ mixes, seven Unterton releases, two compilations, one 7 single and one cassette. Within this time, Ostgut Ton has grown as a label not only in terms of catalogue numbers and musical variety, but also in terms of experience, professionality and as a musical haven for Berghains and Panorama Bars residents.
To Abstract Division, the city of Detroit and its artists are a major source of inspiration. As such, they decided their newest Metropolis EP was to be a homage, a means of giving back. This special package includes an original track that keeps close to the spirit of melodic, rhythmic, minimalism Detroit is known for. It also features three very special remixes by close friends Oscar Mulero – under his Trolley Route alias – Function, who ups the darker ante and Marcel Fengler who infuses it with his trademark Berlin funk.
Blondes, the electronic band from NYC gets revisited by Claro Intelecto, Huerco S and Function on Syncrophone Recordings.
Back when Dave Sumner relaunched his dormant Infrastructure New York label at the start of the year, vague allusions to some sort of planned retrospective were made as a means to tantalise and excite. With the label now fully up and running thanks to a series of great techno 12″s from Function, Campbell Irvine, Inland and a select reissue or two, it seems those plans for a retrospective are a lot firmer. Synewave Reissues Part I: 1995-97 is the first of two 12″s that will precede the release of the 28 track Recompiled: Various Works & Pseudonyms, 1995-2012 compilation in 2015 and draws from material Sumner committed to Damon Wild’s Synewave label. Both “F3” and “F4” are some of the earliest productions Sumner committed to tape as Function and are complemented by a new edit of “Shift F1” from his Infrastructure pardner Inland.
Here’s something to excite those of an experimental techno bent: a collaborative set from veteran producer Function and drone/industrial sort Vatican Shadow. Given the qualities’ of both producers, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Games Have Rules is rather good. Like any good collaboration, it tempers the more outlandish aspects of each producer’s work, delivering a set bristling with icy textures, bittersweet ambience, dreamy atmospherics and, perhaps most pleasing of all, sprawling techno (see the brilliant “Bejewelled Body”). Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the crystalline mood of “A Year Has Passed” (reminiscent of Selected Ambient Works era Aphex Twin) to the murky textures and spooky electronics of “The Nemesis Flower”.