When we last heard from Funkerman, he was reinventing ’70s disco (“Push Em Up”) and updating an ’80s classic (“White Horse”). For his new EP ‘Wine & Roll,’ there isn’t a single decade in effect as Funkerman is mixing ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, and ’10s together in a pot, scrambling it up, and creating a sound that is both familiar and completely whacked-out. Take that as an endorsement and as a challenge. Listen to the track and try to trainspot each element and you will be at your wits end with the way each sound is tweaked just enough to give it an oddly modern retro feel. In just the span of a minute, there are ’90s Daft Punk-esque robot voices, plodding old school underground house beats, glitchy effects, a phat disco bassline, and an ambient passage all behind a ragga vocal that would work on a modern Diplo track. Yet, with all these contrasting elements it doesn’t come off as an esoteric leftfield EDM snob record but as a universal party jam (if simply because there is something in there that everyone will hear that sparks a memory). Remixing this track was going to yield random results – so Peter Horrevorts did it as an ’80s electro track that should have been on the current Daft Punk album and Keljet decided to make it sound like what would have happened if the Visnadi brothers (Living Joy/Alex Party) would have remixed Madonna’s “Secret” instead of Junior Vasquez. Yes, this review is a little bit disjointed, but that’s the kind of the point. Funkerman is making some of the most creative tracks spanning all the genres of dance music. Take a listen to “Wine & Roll” and see what I mean.
One of the many things that I love about Dutch producer/DJ Funkerman is that you never quite know what’s going to come next from him. Each release is just a bit out there, whether it brings in spaced-out disco, electro, rock, ambient, etc. – he has such a music breadth that it makes following his music all the more exciting. “White Horse” by Laid Back, released 30 years ago, is one of those dance classics that stills get played, in its original version, at parties around the world. Often times when a classic is remixed, the result has little to do with the original. This is not the case here. “White Horse” was ahead of its time as a synth-pop record that came out right after disco was on its wane. Funkerman injects a little energy and a few new kicks, loops, and a touch of electro, but keeps most of the original elements intact and just restructured it to stretch it out and make it sound current. The modern dropouts are there, but deployed in such a way that energy will not be killed on the dance floor- most people will probably be singing along. This remix will definitely go down massively at any kind of party, though I wonder how the cool underground kids will react if they hear this in a set – hopefully they can realize that a sick track is a sick track no matter what its vintage. One slight critique- at over 8 minutes in length, the remix borders on being too much of a good thing.