Kyle Hall and Funkineven are undoubtedly two of the biggest names in undergroun house at the moment, so it’s no surprise that their first release together as Funkinevil on Wild Oats was greeted with a chorus of approval last year. Night / Dusk was a masterclass in house music, with the frankly terrifying Night juxtaposed perfectly by the glittering diamond in the rough that was Dusk to form a perfectly balanced EP that was genuinely exciting. The calibre of this first release has made anticipation understandably high for their return to Hall’s label, but the combined talents of the London and Detroit natives surely means that the quality was never really in doubt?
As the tentative throb of filtered arpeggios ring out from the Intro, Ignorant (Igno) marks the start of the EP proper and, if I’m honest, leaves me somewhat underwhelmed. The simple scaling bassline and pitched down electro-influenced drum pattern seem to fail to progress past a series of muted crescendos, leaving the listener wanting something more. Compared to the visceral pound of Night, it just feels a little limp.
Thankfully the flip delivers an altogether more substantial offering in the shape of the mellower, spaced-out vibes of In The Grid, with heavenly pads bolstering a drum track that follows the same electro-esque path as the preceding track. Delicate synth fills are scattered across the track, accenting the dreamy atmosphere and showing what the pair are really capable of.
As the over-modulated dischordant hum of the Outro enter, you’re left to mull over an undeniably solid EP, but one which you can’t help but feel a bit disappointed with the sophomore release from the duo. Bearing in mind the impact of the first 12”, it all just feels a bit flat.