Fjaak

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aec.mkto71.2 1/27/17 New
$12.74 $14.99

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    Fjaak Monkeytown
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Review

Review Text After releasing nearly a dozen singles and EPs on labels such as Baalsaal Records, Klasse Recordings, and 50 Weapons, German trio Fjaak made their full-length debut with a self-titled album released by Monkeytown in early 2017. As one would expect of a group that releases music on labels run by Modeselektor, Fjaak's music is fun and eclectic, providing functional dancefloor tracks but also exhibiting some playfulness, and never sticking to one style. While falling under the general category of techno, there are nods to dub, U.K. garage, and deep house. Fjaak seem to have a fondness for gritty, rolling breakbeats, which they use to their advantage, giving the music a rough but grooving feel that sometimes brings to mind Meat Beat Manifesto (even if Fjaak aren't quite as obviously influenced by jazz, funk, or hip-hop). "Sixteen Levels" is an early highlight, with shuffling garage beats, wobbly (but not wubby) bass, and suspenseful melodies that slowly creep in. The refreshing "Snow" has appropriately light and twinkly melodies that seem to sprinkle down gracefully from the sky, and while the beats are significantly more punchy, they still avoid predictability. "Offline" (a collaboration with Rødhåd) uses gamelan-like percussion recalling Pantha du Prince, sneaks in a wisp of early-'90s rave synth, and also features beats that are restless and twitchy rather than pounding. After the breakbeat electro workout "Fast Food" comes the album's most overt dancefloor track, "Das Programm," which blends starry, trance-like textures with propulsive, percolating beats. A remake of the earlier single "Gewerbe 15" is similarly hypnotic, starting out with Emptyset-like distortion before launching into a more straightforward banger. "Against the Clock" was originally created for FACT's video series of the same name, which challenges producers to create a track from scratch in ten minutes. Considering that this track is seven and a half minutes long, it's no wonder that it sounds spontaneous and unpolished, yet its shuffling, spiraling breakbeats, eerie voices, and shadowy, cascading synths seem remarkably controlled and structured. The album ends with "Fjkslktr," a bouncy, squirmy collaboration with Modeselektor that nevertheless seems to develop an underlying sense of drama by its drawn-out ending. High-spirited but also hard-hitting and a little bit moody, Fjaak is a very solid debut. ~ Paul Simpson

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Spnd Ballett
  2. 2. Sixteen Levels
  3. 3. Wolves
  4. 4. Snow
  5. 5. Offline
  6. 6. Fast Food
  7. 7. Programm
  8. 8. Gewerbe 15 [Album Version]
  9. 9. Tomorrow
  10. 10. Against the Clock
  11. 11. Fjkslktr

Product Details

Release Date
1/27/17 

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