Michael Fakesch, “Dos”

Michael Fakesch was one half of the German IDM duo, Funkstörung, until their demise in 2006. While my exposure to them was admittedly limited, I had enough of an impression in my mind that Dos, Fakesch’s first output since the split, took me completely by surprise. Like the intertwined cover graphics, Fakesch’s second album is a mish-mash of styles with a pronounced pop streak coursing through each measure. Produced in collaboration with the album’s sole vocalist, Taprikk Sweezee (you might remember him from Herbert’s “Something Isn’t Right“) and featuring a slew of instrumentalists (yes, there is a trombone and beatboxist, how did you guess?), the album plays like a Prince album for audiences who remember only Timberlake.

The timing is no mistake: From the acrobatic phrasings and to the reedy-soul timbre of his voice, Taprikk could be JT’s understudy in a pinch. The instrumentalists are also game for some post-millennial synth funk, augmented by Fakesch’s twitchy programming and slathered in fat-lipped bass licks. But approximations of peers and idols is about as far as Dos goes, often blowing through songs without leaving a hooky anchor in audiences’ heads or repeatable lyric to knock around between the ears. The glitchy broken beats often start interesting and end up losing their flavor like a cheap gum ball, their instrumental counterparts hardly able to brighten up the counterintuitive rhythms. It also doesn’t help that Prince-ian white soul singers are increasingly common, which makes it too easy to ignore the arrangements around the aural vanilla milkshake. Maybe pop escapism seemed like a good avenue after splitting with his production partner of 10 years, but Dos doesn’t show off Fakesch’s experienced production skills in the most flattering way. Tres, perhaps, will be a charm.

Michael Fakesch, “Complicated” [Studio !K7] (buy)

Michael Fakesch, “Escalate”

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