Music

Sascha Funke: Boogybytes Vol. 2

Tim O'Neil

As you might expect from the pedigree, this is a pretty rad CD, positively brimming with techno goodness.


Sascha Funke

Boogybytes Vol. 2

Label: BPitch Control
US Release Date: 2006-06-20
UK Release Date: 2006-06-05
Amazon
iTunes

For those of us who really love techno (and really, who doesn't?) the last couple of years have been exceptionally good. There was a long period when techno was regarded as something of a sleepy backwater in the electronic world, never entirely disappearing, but overshadowed by more boisterous stepchildren like drum & bass and trance. And then at some point, around the time just a while ago when dance music had reached it's critical and commercial nadir, techno emerged from the shadows, strangely invigorated and ready to kick some ass. Thanks to labels like Kompakt, Ghostly International and Bpitch control, it has done just that.

It is with the last of these labels that were are concerned today. Bpitch control, founded by Ellen Allien (no slouch herself in the world of producing techno records), has carved a niche producing minimal techno of a similar nature to that which you might find on Kompakt, albeit with a slightly more active libido. Of course, when we're talking about minimal techno, it's best to remember that such qualifications are very relative: to a layperson, it might seem absurd to attempt to discern which set of delicate blips and bloops was hornier than the other. But, for those who follow such things, it's not hard to see that the Bpitch Control house style is scrappier and far more demonstrative than those of their immediate peers.

Boogybytes is Bpitch Control's in-house mix series, and Volume 2 has been mixed by Mr. Sascha Funke. As you might expect from the pedigree, this is a pretty rad CD, positively brimming with techno goodness. Modern techno is a peculiar beast. Whereas, for a long time, techno was defined by big gestures and massive basslines, it has returned full circle to the comparatively precise, intricately melodic approach of the early Detroit practitioners. The dichotomy at the heart of the music is the same conflict at the heart of almost all popular music, albeit more explicit for the mostly non-verbal nature of the music at hand: the cerebral and the libidinous impulses are perpetually at war. The cerebral is represented by the precise and intricately subtle melodies and synthesizer riffs, but the basslines and driving rhythms reassert the primacy of the libido in dance music. You'd be well-advised to keep the balance right, and Funke does just that. There are some moments of singular beauty and surpassing tranquility on this mix, but they are offset with periodic reminders that this is indeed dance music, and not just artsy-fartsy bullcrap for effete Eurotrash to enjoy while sipping their mojitos.

Efdemin's "Jean" starts the mix softly, with a haunting piece of cut & paste microhouse that brings to mind Matthew Herbert, before sliding into a considerably more dirty track -- Tomson & Daniel de la Curtis' "Synthic", which bites the bassline from Underworld's "Dirty Epic" but which also injects a necessary element of goofiness with its off-kilter ghostly synth samples. By the time the Hemmann & Kaden mix of Trentemoller's "Serenitti" kicks in, we're well past the preliminaries and into the ass-kicking techno portion of our show. Kompakt superstar DJ Koze pops up in his International Pony guise with "Our House - Papa", which somehow bridges the gap between minimal techno and club-friendly vocal house without quite embarrassing either genre.

Villalobos shows up, with the Isolée Speak & Spell remix of "What You Say Is More Than I Can Say", which contains probably the nastiest bassline of the entire disc, an insistent pulse that works well with the crisp high hats to create an almost cheeky bit of vintage club atmosphere. Speaking of retro, Schatrax's "Mispent Years" could practically have wandered in off one of those recent Trax anniversary compilations, complete with sharp rim shot patterns and cycling hi-hats. The disc builds to a high climax with "Where We At" by Henrik Schwarts, Dixon and Ame, which also features an imposing vocal performance from house godfather Derrick Carter. It's a monstrous track. it slides back down to some Plastikman-esque burbling courtesy of Sleeparchive ( "ACD-Voice") before coming to a mellow conclusion with Phantom Ghost's cover of Jackson Brown's "These Days" -- yes, that Jackson Brown. I told you techno people had a sense of humor.

This is a good disc that surveys a wide variety of approaches to modern techno, all told in the context of a superbly sequenced DJ set. For those who already know and love the Bpitch Label, this is an essential compilation. And for anyone who may be unfamiliar with modern techno but would be interested in seeing the genre put to excellent usage by one of the masters of the form, Sascha Funke has delivered an excellent primer.

7
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.

Film

From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.

Music

'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.

Music

​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.

Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.

Music

Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Music

Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.

Music

Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.