An EP made on an MPC, while riding a skateboard and drinking craft beers. I mean, really, what else can be said about a release like that? Instead of reading this review, you should just go buy it now and save yourself the eventual wishing you could get back the next ten minutes of your life. Seriously though, if you don’t know about Fanu by now then where have you been the past twenty years? A master of all manner of break science and arctic atmospheres, his latest exercise “Funtroduction” is out now on Slug Wife which, if you don’t know what’s up with this crew, then… we’ll just save that for another time.
The opening and title track “Funtroduction” comes right out swinging with a crispy hip hop beat leading the way for a modern bouncy jungle bassline. It doesn’t take long before the atmospheric elements steer you into a landscape of rolling drum breaks, choppy chords and airy strings. Percussion layers slowly build into an in-your-face break which finally gives way to the type of drum workout that Fanu is well known for.
“Tracker Practice Run” starts in his signature style: opening with a minimal pad, then dropping into an intricate-but-not-too-complex lesson in break science with various one-shot samples setting the tone. Tension starts to build as we head for the main drop, then organs sneak in to take the lead while the break pressure kicks into full gear. Fans of the choppage will not be disappointed with this one.
Being a purveyor of hip hop music and sample culture, Fanu is no stranger to the MPC’s roots which he proves with “Spacekixxx”. Slightly unassuming at first, the funky half-time groove catches you almost immediately with Fanu’s sample digging on full display. Putting the Akai sampler through its paces, modern funk becomes a tech-spy movie soundtrack before getting flipped into a frantic double-time workout.
Next up is “JCslowage” which opens with another halftime hip hop drum break, only this time he’s taking us to church with bright organs and pads that yield to a slightly jazzy atmosphere. As with the previous track, this one eventually goes double-time, and the organic sounds begin to dwindle while 8-bit synth arpeggios take over the arrangement. By the end we’re nowhere close to where we started and that’s not a bad thing.
We wrap up this five-track release with “SP-12 House (ft. Sarah Kivi)”. Wait a minute, did that just say “house”, as in house music? That’s right, Fanu keeps it real by going in on a straight 4/4 tune, evoking a bit of the UK Garage sound but in a way that’s clearly his own. It’s kind of chill, kind of groovy and soulful, and 100% quality production from the chest-thumping bass and kick drum to the spacy vocals and keys that echo off into the distance. It’s another fine example of Fanu’s production versatility without being too deliberate. All in all, “Funtroduction” is another solid outing for the Finnish breakbeat master, and if you made it this far then I’m sorry about those lost ten minutes but I tried to warn you so, just go get it already!
Watch/listen on YouTube/Soundcloud:
Fanu – “Funtroduction” EP minimix
Fanu – “Funtroduction” EP on Soundcloud
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