Bon & Rau, Morning Funk

[Smallville Records]

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There are plenty of labels that claim to operate like a family. But of all of them, Smallville is one of the easiest to believe. Why? Apart from its small range of artists, the label’s catalog is filled with serial collaborators. Steinhoff & Hammouda, Move D & Benjamin Brunn, Dimi AngĂ©lis & Jeroen Search. They all just seem like great friends. Bon & Rau — aka Jacques Bon and Christopher Rau — are just another of these happy couples, and Morning Funk is their second record for the Hamburg collective. The record’s first cut, “Morning Funk,” is possessed with a shunting low-end; one which imparts a surprising amount of drive. Gasoline-shimmer synths percolate across its surface, while an understated acid line loiters below, nuancing the track’s intensity as it waxes and wanes. These two motifs are just complex enough; consistently engaging, but never overwhelming.

On the flip side, “Iris” is best classified using a made-up term: early-morning house. For when you’ve just woken up, that is; not when you’ve just gotten home. Resting on ebullient drums, the track’s lush, dewy synths and rattling bloops are nothing short of optimistic. However, the overall demeanor is kept mild by the sleepy haze that infuses so much of Rau’s work. Like its partner, it’s a really nice cut, but provides little that will truly surpise. It would be unfair to call Morning Funk predictable, but at the same time, it offers little that Rau — whether working alone or with Bon — hasn’t already presented with previous records.

Adamm  on May 8, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Spot on. Underwhelmed for sure.

Upstream  on May 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Liking Morning Funk very much

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