Delta Funktionen – ‘Sun Storm/Onkalo’ (Karenn Remix)’

Dutch native Delta Funktionen, AKA Niels Luinenburg, unveils his first EP of 2013 on long time home Delsin Records. Never one to be pinned down by a particular sound, Luinenburg has consistently produced varied but ultimately high quality dance music for over five years now, and this release is a welcome addition to his pretty substantial discography. Delta Funktionen first came to my attention through his work for Delsin subsidiary ‘Ann Aimee’, which, along with much of his early work, was characterized by deep and pounding Techno. But, as the years have gone by, Delta Funktionen has increasingly produced output more akin to his early influences; an amalgamation of Detroit Techno, Chicago House and ‘real’ Electro. His album ‘Traces’ solidified this analogue infused sound, and his new EP for Delsin is no different.

The release begins with ‘Sun Storm’ which on first listen sounds like a
typical Chicago influenced house cut, its familiar use of classic drum machines is hardly inspirational but is done with considerable effect. However, to leave the assessment at that would certainly be unfair, after a number of listens it becomes clear the nine minute slow-burner has a hypnotic quality. The bassline and percussive moments are indeed functional, but when added to the weirdness initiated by the sci-fi risers and filter swept explosions the whole thing becomes more cohesive. The track is great, due in large part to its almost obtuse nature, but once it clicks it does not disappoint and will certainly be a Panorama Bar favourite. It is not, however, a tune for thrill seekers looking for instant gratification.

‘Challenger’ is next up, a fairly routine slice of slo-mo electro. It appeared before as a CD and digital-only contribution to the ‘Traces’ album and now receives the full wax treatment. While this track certainly fitted into the aesthetic of the album, it only manages to feel like a relegated B-side here. It is mournfully slow, and while the pad elements do create a certain amount of aggressive tension, it feels much more like the soundtrack to a minor scene in ‘War Of The Worlds’ than a piece of well-crafted dance music.

Finally, Karenn’s version of ‘Onkalo’, another album cut, is remixed to middling effect. The duo’s approach to the remix heads towards the familiar territory of their gargantuan drum work, punctuated by an all too familiar vocal sample. It is perhaps to the credit of Karenn that their meteoric rise and constant inclusion on both blogs and dancefloors alike makes this remix feel a little too familiar. Having said that it is typically high quality, and I would defy anyone not to respond to it favourably in a club situation. The biggest problem with the Karenn remix is not their fault, they’ve have done what was asked of them and done it predicatably well, but its inclusion completely removes a consistent feel to the record.

The release feels ever so slightly jumbled; to have two previous tracks from Delta Funktionen’s debut album included seems somewhat unnecessary, and even less consistent considering one is left in its original state with the other being twisted out of all recognition. The best track on the record is without doubt ‘Sun Storm’, basically because it is fresh and exciting material from a good artist! I feel that if Delsin really wanted more mileage out of the album, a remix EP would have been nice, in which case the Karenn remix might have stood out less, but counted for more.

Sean Hughes

Delta Funktionen – ‘Sun Storm / Onkalo’ (Karenn Remix) is out now on Delsin Records

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