Mar 4, 2018

Sundaze 1809


Today's Artist is one whose swirling mixtures of downtempo breaks, smooth ambience, and disjointed drum'n'bass helped put the Coldcut-owned, South London-based Ninja Tune label on the map. The first single from his 1995 Ninja debut Hed Phone Sex, "Long Road" , was featured on a number of compilations cashing in on the fashionability of "trip-hop," but Porcini's brand of laid-back, atmospheric breakbeat is less gimmicky than that connection suggests. His follow-up to Hed Phone Sex, Love, Pussycats, and Carwrecks, is filled with jittery, jazz-laden drum'n'bass with a good dose of usually quite twisted humor. .. ........N'Joy

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Funki Porcini's music is the fruit of a well-traveled life.

Porcini left England at 19 to escape from a squat in Kings Cross being savaged by violent Scots, stranded in London after a football game. Arriving in Los Angeles with three hundred dollars that disappeared in a week on cocktails and hamburgers he was forced into menial labour, stacking shelves in a Westwood department store before earning enough money to hitch-hike to San Francisco. Here he bought a saxophone and moved into the Residents' old warehouse, where Snakefinger was still living. San Fran was alive with a post punk scene of radical experimentation and it was here Porcini started his forays into recorded sound. Although there were some true luminaries on the scene, such as Mark Pauline and his Survival Research Laboratories, Monte Cazzaza, Factrix and a host of underground bands, Porcini grew restless and decided to drive to New York with two friends.

Moving in to the East Village with new found Australian friends SPK he enjoyed NYC but eventually came back to England - and hated it. After a brief trial of Berlin he settled in Italy and remained there for 10 years making music for film and television before setting up 9Lazy9 with Keir Fraser. After establishing connections with Ninja Tune from Italy, Porcini eventually came back to the mother ship and immersed himself in his studio 'The Uterus Goldmine', to produce first album 'Hed Phone Sex', a heady record openly made more for the pillows than for the dance floor. This was followed by 'Love Pussycats and Carwrecks', 'Let's See What Carmen Can Do', 'The Ultimately Empty Million Pounds' and 'Fast Asleep', where Porcini, together with Team Alcohol aka Rupert Small, produced stunning visual interpretations of the music, released on a DVD sold with the CD and premiered at The National Film Theatre in London.

Since the release of Fast Asleep, Porcini has been working on diverse projects involving animation and film; still in the Uterus Goldmine in deepest Warwickshire, he is currently working with writer/director Tony Grisoni on film scores.Eight years on from his last full-length album, Funki returned with not one album but two! In December of 2009 he released PLOD independently on and in May, Ninja Tune released 'On'.

The greatest provocateur and humorist of the early Ninja period, Funki re-animated with his sound intact yet sounding utterly contemporary. Mixing together surreal jazz, found noise, synthetic strangeness and dream logic, "On" is as beautiful and odd as anything he made previously. Porcini has promised to not let it go so long before his next release.

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James Bradell's second album in Funki Porcini guise is an enjoyable, quirky trip, as moodily atmospheric as it is subtly hilarious (and sometimes not so subtly). Advantageously steering away from another two-disc marathon, Love, Pussycats and Carwrecks instead takes up just over an hour of time of high-speed and meditative pieces, both touching subtly on a variety of styles in an overall context. The lengthy and slinky-by-definition (or at least by title) "Purrfect" starts everything on the right foot, a quiet and quietly dramatic combination of soft, slow beats, a mournful trumpet solo, and found-sound samples, including a subtly trippy bit of someone walking down a street. Unlike most other trip-hop types who began and ended with Portishead, there's an actual sense of a different approach here, as the buried snippets of drum'n'bass loops make clear. The energy starts picking up more with the immediately following "Groover" -- there's more trumpet, as is the case for much of the album, but there's also a lot more speed and jungle-style loops -- and from there things continue merrily on. Enough random moments throughout the album keep it from being just something to put on while turning the lights down low and practicing seduction techniques. Distorted, flanged drum hits, sudden stop-starting of the music as a whole, and deep, squelchy basslines decide to make random appearances at many different points. A few tracks are merely snippets, but others make for great, full-on experiences, such as the appropriately named "Carwreck," with sudden jump cuts, studio tweaking, rhythm changes, and more going on throughout its length. Even more hyperactive and suddenly weaving here and there is "12 Points off Your License," with abbreviated horn blasts, jumping, rolling drum loops, and sudden, organ-tinged down-speed jams.

Funki Porcini - Love, Pussycats & Carwrecks (flac 341mb)

01 Purrfect 7:54
02 Groover 5:03
03 The Last Song 5:26
04 Snip & Lick 1:45
05 Carwreck 6:27
06 The Afterlife 4:08
07 12 Points Off Your Licence 6:51
08 Venus 4:29
09 Hyde Park 7:36
10 Theme Music For Nothing 5:10
11 I'm Such A Small Thing 4:51
12 Going Down 8:03

Funki Porcini - Love, Pussycats & Carwrecks  (ogg   154mb)

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Funki Porcini dives head-first into weirdo jazz with his EP, _Lets See What Carmen Can Do._ And if "Ritmo Di Jazz" sounds like it would be his take on Latin jazz, in a way you could say it is, even if the Latin element is subsumed underneath the speeding up and speeding down playfulness. "Shuffle Sheluvly" sounds much more straightforward, even as the rhythms get all caught up in themselves. But for pure craziness, the title track stands on its own, from the start-and-stop rhythm to the high-pitched squeal that resolves itself into a jazz horn. The samples are weird and seemingly random, but I'll be damned if the track doesn't work somehow. "Surge" sounds almost straightforward in comparison, and "Pete Pete Pete" is a hilarious bit of ridiculousness made up of random movie snippets.

Funki Porcini - Lets See What Carmen Can Do + Ashabanapal (flac  414mb)

01 Ritmo Di Jazz 2:20
02 Shuffle Sheluvly 5:17
03 Lets See What Carmen Can Do 5:39
04 Surge 5:51
05 Sally Wants To Be A Surgeon 3:53
06 Pete Pete Pete 2:27

Funki Porcini has some more fun with Ashabanapal's Big Pink Inflatable, a collection of mixes and b-sides from the album Hed Phone Sex. "Suck Acid, Pearl & Dean" has some twitchy jazz which will make further appearances in his output, while "Hyde Park" has a touch of the dreamy about it. "Farewell Alice" is a groovy journey down the rabbit hole. Digidub takes "King Ashabanapal" and emphasizes the bass, while Dillinja works the track up into a drum 'n' bass frenzy. Meanwhile, Plaid perform a typically angular and abstract mix with their version -- a track that's certainly in line with their own sensibilities, even if the original seems completely obliterated.

07 Suck Acid, Pearl & Dean 7:01
08 King Ashabanapal Pt.1 7:14
09 King Ashabanapal (Digidub Mix) 5:22
10 King Ashabanapal (Dillinja Mix) 5:17
11 Hyde Park 7:40
12 King Ashabanapal (Part 2) 4:34
13 King Ashabanapal (Plaid Mix) 6:58
14 Farewell Alice 3:52

Funki Porcini - Lets See What Carmen Can Do + Ashabanapal  (ogg  161mb)

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Funki Porcini's first album since the boom in spy-soul breakbeat made famous by Fatboy Slim has quite a bit of material in similar territory, easily forgivable considering he'd been working the same line for five years. The Ultimately Empty Million Pounds has a few moments of aimless drifting, but it's also liberally sprinkled with entertaining samples, killer beats, and great ideas, especially on appropriately titled tracks like "Rockit Soul," "Theme From Sugar Daddy," and "Reboot."

Funki Porcini - The Ultimately Empty Million Pounds (flac  274mb)

01 Theme From Sugar Daddy 5:37
02 Wilson's Millions 4:44
03 Rockit Soul 3:40
04 Through The Magic Etagere 0:38
05 Reboot 2:54
06 123, 3, 4 3:05
07 Live Fast 3:03
08 English Country Music 4:17
09 Cheasy Rider 4:41
10 Butler's Groove 4:11
11 Nothing To Do 5:30
12 Losers In L.A. 2:58
13 Tiers Of Joy 4:34
14 River 3:25
15 Teenage Hard On 0:05

Funki Porcini - The Ultimately Empty Million Pounds  (ogg  109mb)

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Chillout albums were all the rage during the early 2000s, but despite the attention, no one had made a record quite like Funki Porcini's Fast Asleep since the glory days of ambient techno, when the Orb's "A Huge Ever-Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From the Centre of the Ultraworld" merged Tangerine Dream, the Mad Professor, and Larry Heard into a collage of pastoral bliss. Fast Asleep, though obviously functional in a variety of contexts, wasn't designed to soundtrack trips back from the clubs or lazy nights at home with friends, and as such, it neatly side-steps the conscious hipness that usually compromises chillout records. James Braddell, a downbeat veteran stretching back more than a decade, crafted Fast Asleep to move in and out of its framework, with lengthy transitions introducing -- or deconstructing -- virtually every production. Similar to another Orb classic, U.F.Orb, the track markers aren't immediately obvious, though as the record progresses, it's easier to spot songs amidst the dark, film noir atmospheres and distorted vocal samples. Braddell does dubby ambient techno the way the Orb used to on "The Big Sea," then slowly shifts into underwater hip-hop breaks and loungey vibes for "We're Out of Here." The slow breaks and detuned chords of "The Great Drive By" acknowledge the influence of Boards of Canada, but adds more of a feeling than just melancholy. The real accomplishment of Fast Asleep is to dismiss the reliance of pop music and traditional song structure that had crept into the chillout scene after the success of records like Air's Moon Safari. What's far more difficult is creating a full-length of abstract ambience; consequently, the results are far more entertaining when it's done well.

Funki Porcini - Fast Asleep (flac  332mb)

01 What Are You Looking At? 5:30
02 The Big Sea 7:51
03 We're Out Of Here 2:59
04 50,000 Ft Freefall 5:42
05 Sleepy 2:03
06 The Great Drive By 7:40
07 Last Night Over Norway 1:38
08 New Dope 3:16
09 16 Megatons 4:17
10 Tokyosaka Train 3:02
11 Terminal C3 UK 2:06
12 Weow 6:01
13 Offshore Birmingham 2:56
14 Back Home 6:00

Funki Porcini - Fast Asleep  (ogg  127mb)

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