Album Reviews

Funk D’Void – Volume Freak

(KSR) UK release date: 23 February 2004

Funk D'Void - Volume Freak Funk D’Void is the name chosen by Glaswegian DJ and producer Lars Sandberg, now living in Barcelona. He took the name from a George Clinton lyric: “I am Sir Nose D’Void of funk / I have always been devoid of funk / I shall continue to be devoid of funk.” This is not quite the case for Sandberg, who has recorded two well-received albums for the Soma label and here adds a third.

It’s immediately clear that some of the Catalan warmth has found its way into Volume Freak. Opening track Emotional Content is firmly rooted in the Detroit techno tradition but takes a rich synthesiser sound and chords to take it nearer the Mediterranean. It’s a very accessible tune with which to start the album, and the vibe surfaces again in the Heavenly remix of Diabla. This was a staple in The Chemical Brothers‘ DJ sets of 2001 – little wonder, with a bass sound that goes through the floor.

A new development for Sandberg in this album is his vocal collaborations with Mark Bell and Martin Landquist. Bell’s contribution is Can’t Get Enough Of A Bad Thing, which has a hint of San Fran house about the vocal, while Landquist offers a more laid back affair in Way Up High. Both tracks narrowly avoid a sugary aftertaste, as Sandberg judges the mood and texture just right.

To make up for this “softer” approach there are some much tougher tracks towards the close of the album, with the four to the floor-stomper Beat The Bleep and the driving techno of Jack Me Off. Elsewhere, the combination of hard Detroit beats and warm keyboard sounds bears fruit. 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 is Endless, a heavy break beat and an insistent chord forming a lithe combination.

Sandberg is currently working on a live show, and if this album gets the respect it deserves, it will be like watching a more sun-drenched, more instrumental version of Underworld. If you’re a fan of the Romford boys, this is a logical port of call.

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Funk D’Void – Volume Freak