Funkineven – Heartpound/Another Space (Eglo Records)

Floating Points and Alexander Nut, the brains behind Eglo – an imprint currently basking in the heat of critical praise – seem to pride themselves on the endless facets to their label’s sound. Par for the course, then, for their tenth release, where label fam FunkinEven shuffles around the puzzle pieces he’s come to call his own – hyper-swung hihats, menacing 303 basslines, splatters of synth colour and a low-slung house punch – into yet another new configuration.

One could be forgiven for thinking ‘Even’s taken his critics too much to heart though, as his self-professed ‘organised confusion’ has been streamlined to focus more on the former and less on the latter. This could be a strategy aimed firmly at the dancefloor; where the scattershot swing of earlier releases may have been a turn-off for less ambitious DJs, this 12” should mix like a dream (not that I’ve tried, mind).

Heartpound is an exercise in blockwise construction; more overtly Chicago than we’ve come to expect, batteries of claps and snares are let loose over a 303 gloop first aired on She’s Acid earlier this year. The tune’s utterance, ‘a new sound from an old town’, rings true, though the trace of ‘Even’s predecessors is, as ever, worn proudly on his sleeve.

Normally I’m a B-side kinda guy, but Another Space slightly outstays its welcome. Perhaps the producer’s trying to make up for the absence of his usual fluid, machine-soul touch through a longer, more house-wise structure; it certainly feels like every possible combination of stuttering vocal and rave-tinged chords has been tried once the 6 minutes are up. Either way, it sits disappointingly on the fence between the A-side’s newfound jackin’ precision and the soulful detritus-strewn landscape of, say, You (a prime cut from ‘Even’s 2009 debut).

A mixed bag then, this one. Whether its a stylistic aberration or – more likely – a calculated sidestep in sound remains to be seen; either way, it’ll be fascinating to watch where this producer takes himself next (and wherever it is will be worth at least a few spins).

Words // Angus Finlayson