Record Review - 1 June 17 2004

Sometimes musicians can make a move that's more than just, "Who put chocolate in my peanut butter." In the case of German production duo Funkstörung, it's almost akin to arsenic in your tea. Assuming your cup of tea is post-Autechre chop-shop electro. On Disconnected, Funkstörung's first full-length since 2000's Appetite for Disctruction, the Munich-based beat manipulators slow their roll to accommodate a host of grit-free groove-oriented vocalists.

Along with sometime Atlanta resident Scott "Prefuse 73" Herren, Funkstörung helped refine "click-hop" out of digitally crackled shards, bass yawns and ping-pong dynamics. But that was then. On Disconnected, Funkstörung is indeed disconnected from that sound. Instead of snap and crackle, it's all about pop.

While crispy, crunchy beats still peck with precision, the pace is a shuffle rather than a scuffle. Acoustic guitars and electric piano waft across the gilded glitches. And it's hard to push the limits of your sound when you're limited to supporting partner for ballads. Longtime fans will likely ask Funkstörung, "Where's that first part, the 'funk'?" At times there's the clink and clank of the flint and steel, but the spark's elusive. Still, with abundant promising remix work, Funkstörung still maintains the chance to become reconnected.

Funkstörung plays Eyedrum Thurs., June 17. 8 p.m. $7.