Funckarma (Monographic)

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There are projects that are always going to be linked to their components no matter how much they try to free themselves from it because they have had an important impact on the music scene. Later, when each one works on their own, it is usually not comparable to what they have done together, but you also have to know the reasons for each separation, if they have ended badly, if it has been to expand or if they approach it as a personal challenge.

There is no negative reason for the breakup of Funckarma, this Dutch duo formed by brothers Don and Roel Funcken was active from 1999 to 2012, before, the two brothers had already published under other names but had gone quite unnoticed, yes in parallel with Funckarma created other projects to differentiate styles, as was the case of Cane, Dif:use, Cenik or Automotive, ephemeral projects that did not have as much impact as Funckarma.

Don and Roel split up for various reasons, the first for personal ambitions and to see how far they could go separately, but Don stayed more on the sidelines of the music scene for family reasons, while Roel continued at the same pace in terms of production work and gigs.

Between 1999 and 2000 Funckarma published a series of numbered releases, Part1, Part2 and Part3 were 3 eps that derived with an album called Parts. In 2001 they published the fourth part and in 2003 the fifth. But already in their first release, they showed a style oriented towards IDM and advanced electronic music.

The Dutch label Djak-Up Bitch released the acclaimed series Parts of Funckarma, this label was responsible for releasing a second album by the Funcken brothers. Solid State was released in 2001 and did not disappoint its audience. Heavy rhythms and dark nuances that exceed the limits of what they had previously released.

Solid State has a very unique sound, incorporating many elements of the IDM, but it is the settings of the sounds themselves that inject a good dose of originality and innovation. Darkness and melancholy mixed with strong rhythms, strings and piano, elegant and attractive melodies and the human presence of female voices. Solid State is a penetrating mental passage of dark and creative electronic music.

Funckarma’s activity between 2003 and 2007 was quite reduced, in 2003 and 2004 they only released a few singles, in 2005 they were quite disappeared, and in 2006 we can highlight that they are back with the extensive format of the album to launch Bion Glenties on the Canadian label Sublight Records. But already in 2007 the brothers Don and Roel founded Funck Music, a label with which they would only release 3 albums between 2007 and 2008, albums that would be absorbed a year later by Funcken Industry, a label that they founded in 2009 and that becomes their main diffusion platform. In fact, it is still active today and is where Roel mainly publishes his works.

Going back to the 3 albums they released at Funck Music, there is one that stands out from the other two. Hip Hop Instrumentals is one of the two references that were published in 2007 and is made precisely with hip hop in mind,  it is composed of elements of hip hop but it is still advanced electronic music. And as the title says, they are perfect hip hop bases, instrumental bases.

Funckarma has been a versatile project with a trajectory that, although it has been quite changeable, has always had a quite defined style. They mixed many genres with electronics or IDM. In the case of Vell Vagranz, the album they released in 2008, the two brothers mixed dubstep with IDM. From this album, the composition, the way in which they combine these two genres, stands out.

For audiences who expect powerful bass sounds, as is usual with dubstep, you may be surprised, but what you need to be clear about is that what Funckarma does is to experiment with styles and bring them into their own domain, which is IDM. The brilliant fusion of the simplest with the most complex, or the darkest with the most cheerful, speaks of the great talent of the two brothers.

Don and Roel Funcken fragmented their activity with various projects. In addition to Funckarma, the two brothers were also involved in other musical projects, the most prolific of which, apart from Funckarma, was Quench. The only noticeable difference between Quench and Funckarma was that with Quench they produced more harmonious and calm IDM, and with Funckarma what they did was always more complex, darker and with far less melody.

Quench was active from 2000 to 2012, which means that it was always a parallel project with Funckarma.

In 2008, Funckarma released one of the last albums produced jointly by brothers Don and Roel Funcken, Psar Dymog had a second part in 2011 and this would be the last album of the Dutch duo.

Psar Dymog is a curious work, an album of versions, not of remixes, but of adaptations, adaptations of previously published songs that besides being completely new, without using the same patterns as in the original tracks, are also new in terms of title, although the 16 tracks make clear allusions to the original tracks.


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