Michael Fakesch used to be in Funkstörung, the mercurial German electronic duo who pioneered a stunning collision of beat-based mayhem, digital electro madness and broad techno rhythms to great effect from 1994 to 2006.
So, with that in mind, you might reason that you’d have a fairly good idea of what to expect from a Michael Fakesch solo album, right? Wrong. When it comes to Fakesch’s post- Funkstörung career it’s best to expect the unexpected.
For instance, not only can the articulate and genial Fakesch not decide whether his forthcoming album Dos is his second solo album – he released Marion in 1999, but, as he points out, that was a collection of tracks rather than a formulated body of work – but he’s troubled as to whether Dos is in fact a solo album, given that he co-wrote the album with vocalist Taprikk Sweezee.
"It doesn’t feel like a solo album," he explains, "because Taprikk co-wrote it. But for Taprikk it felt more like a guest appearance so he suggested that I keep it under my own name."
And then, most importantly, there is the wonderful sounds contained therein. In short, Dos is 21st Century funk: stone cold, deep, down and dirty butt music. It might be layered with Fakesch’s trademark bleeps and squelches, but these are humorous flourishes garnishing the main event.
"I wanted to make it funky, dirty and not so over-programmed," Fakesch says. "I wanted to make it rougher."
And this he and Taprikk have achieved with flying colours. From the mad, slow techno of the opening track Escalate to the exquisite closer Channel and all points in between Dos echoes the legacy of Ray Charles, Sly Stone, Grandmaster Flash, Prince, Derrick May and Aphex Twin at every turn. If you thought Jamie Liddell got a handle on white boys cooking up the funk on Multiply You wait until you hear this.
"Funk is very important," he states not unreasonably, "but the funk I’m talking about is not necessarily that as meant by George Clinton. He’s never really been an influence to be honest. It’s more about the hip hop that was influenced by those guys and the funk in techno."
Just as crucial though was Michael’s relationship with Taprikk. Having been introduced by a mutual friend, their musical pasts – Michael’s peerless IDM (a term he detests) work and Taprikk’s out-there soul, funk and rock excursions – might have suggested they’d make exemplary sonic bedfellows, but the reality exceeded both their expectations.
"He’s got a great feeling about harmonies and melodies," Michael enthuses, "and it made for a great combination."
A true modern-day renaissance man, Taprikk is founder and one of two brains behind Zoikmusic (www.zoik.de), a net label platform where all manner of music, small comics and mags are released.
Another inspiration was Michael’s expressed desire to make the music more human.
Consequently, the orchestral manoeuvres in the dark of Wire suggests a brooding, spooked-out Kanye West