Album Reviews

Funk D’Void – Volume Freak

(Ben Hogwood) UK release date: 23 February 2004

Funk D’Void is the namechosen by Glaswegian DJ and producer Lars Sandberg,now living in Barcelona. He took the name from aGeorge Clinton lyric: “I am Sir Nose D’Void offunk / I have always been devoid of funk / I shallcontinue to be devoid of funk.” This is not quite the case forSandberg, who has recorded two well-received albumsfor the Soma label and here adds a third.

It’s immediately clear that someof the Catalan warmth has found its way into VolumeFreak. Opening track Emotional Content is firmlyrooted in the Detroit techno tradition but takes arich synthesiser sound and chords to take it nearerthe Mediterranean. It’s a very accessible tune withwhich to start the album, and the vibe surfaces againin the Heavenly remix of Diabla. This was a staple inThe Chemical Brothers‘ DJ sets of 2001 – littlewonder, with a bass sound that goes through thefloor!

A new development for Sandberg inthis album is his vocal collaborations with Mark Belland Martin Landquist. Bell’s contribution is Can’t GetEnough Of A Bad Thing, which has a hint of San Fran houseabout the vocal, while Landquist offers a morelaid back affair in Way Up High. Both tracks narrowlyavoid a sugary aftertaste, as Sandberg judges the moodand texture just right.

To make up for this “softer”approach there are some much tougher tracks towardsthe close of the album, with the four to the floorstomper Beat The Bleep and the driving techno of JackMe Off.

Elsewhere, the combination ofhard Detroit beats and warm keyboard sounds bearsfruit. All That Matters is good kickback material and, as its title implies, Electrix 313 goes more ’80s in flavour with a phat bassline. Best of all though isEndless, a heavy break beat and an insistent chordforming a lithe combination.

Sandberg is currently working ona live show, and if this album gets the respect itdeserves, it will be like watching a moresun-drenched, more instrumental version ofUnderworld. If you’re a fan of the Romfordboys, this is a logical port of call.

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Funk D’Void – Volume Freak