Mouse on Mars’ Guide to Funkstörung

It’s been nearly ten years since Funkstörung, the Bavarian duo of Michael Fakesch and Chris De Luca, last released an album together. Active throughout the ’90s and early 2000s, the pair had a series of outings on Bunker sublabel Acid Planet, !K7 and their own Musik Aus Strom, remixed the likes of Wu-Tang Clan and Björk and is credited with helping to invent glitch-hop. Now, Fakesch and De Luca are back together with a self-titled LP for Modeselektor’s Monkeytown label. Ahead of its release, we enlisted Mouse on Mars, another vanguard IDM duo from Germany, to guide us through some standouts from Funkstörung’s catalog.

“Untitled B3”

Everything came from gabber. Gabber was the revolution. This is something you could call gabber acid, the primordial ooze from which Funkstörung arose like an Amazonian swamp monster. Back then they were still called Musik aus Strom.

“Untitled A3”

When techno sounded like Unit Moebius, Sähkö or this early Funkstörung track we thoroughly loved it. Warm, dirty, mysterious and psychedelic without the added trance kitsch. Just great sounds: elegant and direct. This track could run for hours.

“Beinh”

Another dry-as-bone track. A bit more off-kilter but still dark and brooding, without the annoying attitude. Distorted bass was the best invention of the ’90s.

“Tank”

Dance floor destroyer. This record was always in our case back then. Played at the right moment at Liquid Sky or Joined parties in Cologne, people always lost it completely. We only wish that we could’ve written this track.

Björk – “All is Full of Love (In Love with Funkstörung Remix)”

With this remix, Funkstörung became superstars for IDM eternity. Aphex Twin, Autechre, all those Warp key figures were suddenly on the outside looking in. Their remix was daring and sexy and catapulted Björk into the 22nd century. After this, industrial drums and ring modulations were everywhere.

“Disconnected”

IDM pop. Milky Chance took their cues from this song.

Tes & Funkstörung – “Fat Camp Feva”

Dirty funk! Pretty laid back, too. This was a blueprint for people like Jamie Lidell, Puppetmastaz, Modeselektor and DJ Ötzi. Back then we called Funkstörung “the Mexicans from Rosenheim.”

“Grammy Winners”

Is this a track, solely sound design or psychoacoustic, genetically engineered funk? It’s so dry it makes you breathlessly hold onto your watering can.

“Wu-Tang Clan Reunited (Funkstörung Mix)”

You are not a pop star if you haven’t been remixed by Funkstörung. Those were the noughties: only music could make music even better. And this pitch stop in the middle is pure cheeky brilliance.

Funkstörung ft. Anothr – “Laid Out (Mouse on Mars ‘It’s a Blader’ Remix)”

Finally we got together. It was an honor to rewire this song (streaming in its original form above) from the new Funkstörung album. Even though they’ve returned in a more placid mood, their unpretentious elegance is still there.

Continue Reading

Live Report: Electronic Beats Festival Prague 2014

Last night was the first EB festival of the season with Diamond Version, Bonobo and Moderat kicking things off in the Czech capital. As always, Team EB was down the front to report back.

 

Lana Del Rey and Karin Park give way to Bonobo and Moderat. Twelve months after the ladies graced the stage of the Archa Theatre, it was time for the boys to rock the dancefloor. Modeselektor, Apparat and Bonobo are staples who have built quite a following among Prague audiences over the years. The last time the Monkeytown duo came to town under the EB flag at the grande Art Noveau venue at the Lucerna Palace, there was no leg or arm that wouldn’t be moving. Simon Green, better known under his Ninja Tune-affiliated moniker Bonobo, is also no stranger to the Czech capital. But first things first. All photos: Tomáš Martinek.

Diamond Version Electronic Beats Festival Prague 2014

Raster-Noton’s stalwarts Carsten Nicolai and Olaf Bender have taken on the unenviable task of the first act, but they had no reservations, oozing a confident, composed and direct mode of audiovisual rapport with the audience, which they had plenty of opportunity to practice during their massive Depeche Mode stadium support gigs last year. Their bass-heavy instrumentals, at times abstract, at others sounding like a man-machine marriage between Kraftwerk and Drexciya. Accompanied by monochrome visuals, Diamond Version actually look like a modern day version of the German pioneers, their laptops emanating stark, minimalist sonics drawing from the wealth of Nicolai’s Alva Noto and Bender’s Byetone ouevre.

Bonobo_2

Bonobo_1

The Englishman returned to Archa after his last year’s successful concert at the same venue, only to reinforce his popularity among the Czech audience. Unleashing his live show—including a drummer and a keyboarder—one doesn’t have to be a music expert to understand Bonobo’s wide appeal. Jazzy inflections and chilled atmospherics interspersed with soothing female vocals are in some way the anti-thesis of Diamond Version’s cool sonic universe. “I always want to concentrate on the human aspect of music, I want to make my music sound human without resorting to emo tactics,” as the global sonic traveller has told us in an interview.

 

Moderat_1

Moderat Electronic Beats Festival Prague 2014

“..In the beginning, it was more of a fun thing. When we did our first album, we didn’t really expect much. But in the studio, we found out there’s this incredible energy between us,” says Sascha Ring aka Apparat. Tonight, they demonstrate their chemistry to the buoyant crowd, who eagerly await the Berlin-based trio, falling under their spell within an instant. Hallo Prague, wie gehts? And then, as the first beats of the biggest hit off their latest album Moderat II fill the theatre hall, the hands are in the air. Bad Kingdom with the backdrop of the hand-drawn imagery from the actual video, projected by their resident visualists Pfadfinderei, is an apotheosis of their set, which also includes older material.

 

Although apparently diverse projects, the three acts have woven a specific musical thread throughout the Friday night, that catered for those eager to dance, sing-along or ruminate. ~

 

Armbander

Apps

Photobooth

Continue Reading

Videodrome 132 – This week’s best videos

Each week, Moritz Gayard rounds up the best music videos so you don’t have to. 

 

Still hailing from super-nice Rio de Janaiero, here comes a warm breeze full of audio visual joy. This week I lost my heart to Pricess Nokia and (again) to Lopatin‘s Software Rec., who dropped an amazing computer generated journey for Thug Entrancer’s “Death After Life I”. Also inspiring: new videos from the likes of Show Me The Body, Actress, Jonas Reinhardt and Moderat. Have fun.

 

#1 Princess Nokia – “Dragons”

Some chilled jungle here from up-and-coming Princess Nokia (formerly known as Wavy Spice) or better described as some sort of Aaliyah reincarnate. A video to let you know how to treat your partner.

 

#2 Thug Entrancer – “Death After Life I”, directed by Milton Melvin Croissant III

When it comes to music videos these days, Lopatin’s Software imprint is taking the genre into some sort of next level shit. This time it’s a computer-generated psychedelia for Ryan McRyhew’s Thug Entrancer moniker. Get ready for the journey, press play and get lost in faked worlds.

 

#3 Actress – “Street Corp”, directed by Riyo Nemeth

Here’s the abstract clip for Actress’ “Street Corp”, which Ruth Saxelby called, “one of the most satisfying moments on Ghettoville.”

 

#4 Isaiah Rashad – “Soliloquy”, directed by Christopher Parsons

No gimmicks here. TDE’s rookie Isaiah Rashad unveiled this new visual for “Soliloquy”, off his now available Cilvia project.

 

#5 Show Me The Body – “GROSS LOANS”, directed by Aaron Naves

Great lo-fi video for Brooklyn trio SMTB—if you run a label go get them signed. According to sickchirpse they label their sound as: “Sludge Punk, Folk Metal, Americore.” Don’t miss it.

 

#6 A.R.C. Soundtracks – “The Road To The Camp”

Not really a sucker for videos with that over-used mirror effect. But here, it’s different. Diving in to the droney “The Road To The Camp” video is full fun. Track is taken from the debut album., Archive: Volume One—out via Little Crackd Rabbit.

 

#7 Jonas Reinhardt – “Ganymede”, directed by Lily Jue Sheng

Brooklyn synth architect Jonas Reinhardt is just about to drop his LP+DVD release Ganymede. Again, this is amazing and according to interweb rumors, there’ll be a video for each track of the whole album (Goldfrapp/Beyonce anyone?).

 

#8 Adam Black – “TND Glass”, directed by Adam Black

French singer Adam Black just released the video for “TND Glass”, off of his EP debut, Untld, out February 10th. Check the self-directed video above.

 

#9 Presk – “Saluki”

This week Amsterdam-based Presk released his four track EP Saluki via Doc Daneeka’s Ten Thousand Yen imprint. Above it’s the colorful dance video for the title track.

 

#10 Moderat “Last Time“, directed by Pfadfinderei

Der Fluch der Provinz. New Moderat video made by long time collaborator Pfadfinderei, gives us an impression of living outside Berlin. Wanna see them live? Then try to get tickets for our EB Festival in Prague. Last tickets available from Friday morning.

 

For more editions of Videodrome, click here.

Continue Reading

EB Premiere: Mouse on Mars’ <i>Spezmodia</i> EP

We last heard from Mouse on Mars back in early 2012 when their Parastrophics album was an unexpected return six years after their last studio album proper. Now they’re back on Monkeytown Records with a digital-only EP entitled Spezmodia, a twenty minute workout that sees the German electronica duo feeding on the energy of the most future-engaged dance floors—and we’ve landed the exclusive premiere. Never ones to strip back, Spezmodia revels in its maximalist, digital production and snaking, rattling basslines and reformatted house keys, you can even hear the imprint of footwork on the rolling and hyperkinetic “Migmy”. It’s an interesting swerve after the sprawling Parastrophics but hardly surprising; Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner have been making music together for two decades, ever since, as the apocryphal story goes, they met at a death metal gig in 1983. Over the course of ten studio albums and many more EPs, they’ve experimented within—and without—the stranger and less visited areas of electronica, beginning with ambient house experimentalism and getting stranger from thereon in. In 2006 they even clocked up an appearance on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings Varcharz and roped in Mark E Smith as Von Südenfed in 2007 for Tromatic Reflexxions. 

Stream the entirety of Spezmodia above. Like what you hear? Grab it via iTunes. You can also watch a Slices Tech Talk with the band here.

Spezmodia-Mouse-On-Mars-Electronic-Beats

 

Mouse on Mars’ Spezmodia is released on January 10th on Monkeytown Records.

Continue Reading

Video Flashback: Moderat

Neither Modeselektor or Apparat are exactly strangers to Electronic Beats, our relationship with the two entities goes way back—particularly with the former who could, quite justifiably, claim to be something of an EB house band. Both, for example, have played our festivals with Modeselektor chalking up numerous appearances while Apparat stormed Prague in 2011 with his band in tow. It stands to reason that we’ve tracked their alliance with interest, and in 2010 Moderat became the subject of a stand out Slices feature—see the picture above for evidence—and just last week we sent Seb Wheeler to catch up with Sebastian Szary (one half of Modeselektor) and Sascha Ring (Apparat) with the developments within the camp, namely the project’s second record II. We thought it was time we raided our archives to unearth the best Moderat video content we have to offer to bring you up to speed including a Moderat interview from Slices Issue 3-10, Modeselektor Live in Budapest, Apparat live in Prague and Moderat live in Cologne and Graz (all footage taken from Electronic Beats Festivals).

Like what you see? You should check out the Electronic Beats presented documentary We Are Modeselektor which tracks the story of the eccentric techno duo from their humble beginnings in a German backwater village to superstardom. It’s currently screening at various festivals and music events around the world but you can buy the DVD here. To catch Moderat live, check the list of tour dates below. Main photo by Lars Borges.

August 02 Eastern Electrics Festival, London, UK
August 09 Flow Festival, Helsinki, FI
August 10 SonneMondSterne, Saalburg, GER
August 11 Kampnagel, Hamburg, GER
August 17 Lowlands Festival, Amsterdam, NL
August 24 Tauron Nowa Muzyka, Katowice, PL
August 28 Neptune Theater, Seattle, US
August 29 Club Nokia, Los Angeles, US
August 31 Electric Zoo, New York, US

September 1 SAT, Montreal, CAN
September 11 Arena Vienna, AT
September 12 Unknown Festival,Rovinj, HR
September 13 Magazzini Generali, Milano, IT
September 19 Stadtgarten, Erfurt, GER
September 20 Schlachthof, Wiesbaden, GER
September 21 E-Werk Köln, GER
September 22 LKA Stuttgart, GER
September 23 Komplex457 Zürch, CH
September 25 Fri-Son, Fribourg, CH
September 26 Le Transbordeur, Lyon, FR
September 27 Marsatac Festival, Marseille, FR
September 28 BOZAR, Brussels, BE
September 29 Columbiahalle, Berlin, GER

October 10 Substance @ Picture House, Edinburgh, UK
October 11 Warehouse Project, Manchester, UK
October 12 Simple Things Festival, Bristol, UK
October 14 Buttom Factory, Dublin, IRE
October 16 Koko, London, UK
October 17 Paradiso, Amsterdam, NL
October 18 Train, Aarhus, DK
October 19, Studio 1, Copenhagen, DK
October 20, Trianon, Paris, FR

November 9, Club To Club, Torino, IT
November 30, Puls Festival, Munich, GER

Continue Reading