Magic Hour

The rappers sound like they're flipping out in flotation tanks....

The rappers sound like they’re flipping out in flotation tanks. The [a]RZA[/a]’s mixing desk is being assailed by wicked Europeans with large metal sticks. There’s a spectral melody threading through the wreckage somewhere deep in the beyond.

It takes a brave band to mess with the [a]Wu Tang Clan[/a], let alone rip them to shreds and hang their entrails on a wind harp. This, however, is what Funkstvrung have done on ‘Reunited’, the startling highlight of this fine collection of remixes. Michael Fakesch (German) and Chris De Luca (Italian) are one of those electronica teams who comprehensively destroy their source material: it’s to their considerable credit that, on ‘Additional Productions’, they manage to make Finitribe, Bjvrk, scratching champion DJ Craze, an unappealing-sounding record called ‘Children Of The Rave Solution’ and the aforementioned Wu all sound identical.

And great, as it happens. The closest comparison to Funkstvrung‘s frighteningly-detailed collages of tranquil and pretty tunes overwhelmed by squitting and skittering (a)rhythms is Autechre. But Fakesch and De Luca‘s trump card is to introduce a human voice into the aesthetic carnage: hence the Wu-Tangers discovering there are more disturbing sounds to be confronted than that creaky old harpsichord sample. And hence Bjvrk wandering lost in the dystopian soundscape of their ‘All Is Full Of Love’ remix, the logical next step on from ‘Homogenic’‘s clinical freakiness.

Throughout, there’s the impression Funkstvrung (German for radio signal disturbance, incidentally) are working very, very hard [I]indeed [/I]to sound new and unfettered. Amazingly, they almost always succeed.