Zero Crossing

My Kinda Funk

by John Bergstrom

19 April 2006


Drum Programs: Great. Everything Else: Eh...

First, to begin with something positive: Munich’s Andreas Angerer, aka Zero Crossing, is an excellent drum programmer. His syncopated beats are punchy and concise, punctuated with hi-hats as sharp as surgical needles. Gradually, he adds layers of subtle percussion, resulting in something that paradoxically sounds complex and minimal at the same time. The man has a sense of a good rhythm and how to create it without all the fuss and bombast, doing influences like Richie Hawtin proud.

Now the not-so-good news: My Kinda Funk, Angerer’s full-length debut, is an overall mess that’s only occasionally engaging. Angerer’s intent is noble enough. He wants to give funk a contemporary, electronic, ambitiously personal makeover. But he ends up giving more nods to European electro-minimalist predecessors than to funk’s founding fathers. Imagine if DAF or Nitzer Ebb had made a hip-hop album… without any hooks, melodies, or interesting rapping. The bottom line: My Kinda Funk would make an excellent collection of sample-worthy loops. Its appeal as an album of music doesn’t go much beyond a certain niche of electronica, if even that far.

cover art

Zero Crossing

My Kinda Funk

(Perfect Toy)
US: 21 Mar 2006
UK: 20 Feb 2006

Most all of the album’s dozen full tracks share the same shortcomings. One of those tight beats gets going and is complemented with a pulsing electro- or slap-bass line. Then it pretty much marks time with near-random staccato strings, laser-gun synths, and atonal sound effects. Occasional guest vocals, like Mustafa Akbar’s soulful emoting on the elegant Talk collaboration “Touching You”, don’t stand much of a chance against such a backdrop, especially when the rhythms break down and start up again without notice. The great, ubiquitous Kool Keith nearly saves “Da Game Is On” with some trademark non-sequiturs, but, like most songs on My Kinda Funk, the track runs out of steam after a few minutes. Just about everything on the album sounds improvised—suggesting a classic case of the ol’ live-act-that-doesn’t-translate-to-the-studio syndrome. 

Track after track, Angerer gets some promising grooves going, only to let the them overstay their welcomes. However, “Rhythm of Life” does offer a complete translation of his vision, thanks to a Sly-riffic bassline and some ingenious vocal sampling.  Furthermore, “Darkness” is like an inverted Photek drum’n'bass track. With its analog surge and lumbering rhythm, it’s a deconstruction that, ironically, bears more of its author’s personal stamp than any of the funk-influenced stuff. 

Maybe the moral here is that one man’s funk is another person’s frittering.

My Kinda Funk


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