Funkstorung Appetite For Disctruction

These are hip-hop beats that will not be blasted out of low-riders anytime soon, beats that are the equivalent of crushed ice — in shards and chilly. This is an album about beats and beats alone, which puts it squarely in the old school hip-hop tradition. The key to Michael Fakesch’s method is the harsh, short-delay sounds that sharpen the beats. Instead of lush keyboard tones, we get slate tones. A fun mood persists, though  you gotta love it when guest vocalists get squashed and distorted, where they usually get the most expensive-sounding diva reverb. As for the rapping, “Sounds Like a Breakrecord” should have been a B-side, while “Grammy Winners” is much better. “Red Shirt White Shoes” comes along at the right time: it’s the only conventional song here and it actually has a melody with fixed tonal centres — what a concept! Mind the Gap is a deep chill-out that is restorative after so much frenzied digital squoosh. This in many ways is the exact opposite of many of the records Studio K7 puts out — Kruder & Dorfmeister it ain’t. It’s not at all glossy; you want to scrub your fingernails after listening to it. (Studio !K7)