Function, Anticipation

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[Sandwell District]


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The label Sandwell District has always been a mixed bag. In an RA profile, label keystone Function, (or Dave Sumner of NYC if anonymity’s not your thing), explained that Sandwell release are selected by any of the artists involved. So the aesthetic values put forward can therefore have as much to do with high concept as with pushing a consistent label sound. This seems like a blessing with the arrival of Function’s “Anticipation” single, as it sounds a little different from the rest of Sandwell’s catalog and must also rank as its strongest output to date.

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Both cuts here are stripped down, hypnotic, and more trancey than chugging. Dettmann, Fengler, and Redshape are the obvious contemporary references for this sound, and A-side “Disaffection” shares more than a little in common with the previous Function release on Sandwell, “Isotope.” “Disaffection” feels more fully matured, though. Each little snare seems to be crossing a “t” or dotting an “i,” and in this sense seems to form a perfectly self-contained sonic world. “Burn” is better still. It stretches out sinuously over the leisurely length of ten minutes, which makes it one of the longest Sandwell tracks; but “Burn” has, indeed, more than enough sizzle to hold attention across its length. About six-and-a-half minutes in, just when things might have wound down, a welcome breath of life comes into the tune: no profound change, but the longer time gives the track room to lose the listener in its languorously paced smolder.  If you’re feeling the mojitos and BBQ and want something to suit the sunshine, maybe look elsewhere. Neither “Disaffection” nor “Burn” are exactly breezy and summery, but it’s a good bet they’ll still be brightening many a playlist come winter.

cz  on July 19, 2008 at 7:07 PM

From where I’m sitting this is painfully derivative of Emannuel Top’s wildly underrated “Asteroid” album. Weaksauce.

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