Artist : Deepfunk
Album Title : Imagination Creates Reality
Label : Sixtysevensuns
Release : TBC
Genre : Electronica/Progressive/Techno
Review by Ian French
Deepfunk or Malcolm Abdilla, as he is known to some is a producer that doesn’t need much of an introduction with releases on labels such as Wide Angle Recordings, Bedrock, Sound Avenue, Stripped Recordings, Perspectives, microCastle and of course his own label Sixysevensuns. He is always an artist that has kept my attention with his unique sound that sits somewhere between progressive, techno and electronica but always siding on the more intelligent sounds of the aforementioned genres. I have been excited about this album for some time and when he personally asked me to review the album I literally jumped at the chance.
First up on the album is “Escape” which is a great 3 minute introduction track to the album. Imagine Hernan Catteneo style intro tracks and you wont be too far from the mark here. Very nice start that instantly made me want to continue listening to the rest of the album.
The second track on the album is a track entitled “A Happy Tale” which does pick up the pace from the first track but is still leaning more towards electronica than any kind of four to the floor sounding tracks. A track that would certainly not be uncommon in sets by the likes of Max Cooper, this track is an emotional gem. Really recommend you listen to this well titled journey of happy emotion.
The next track is called “Magic” which starts off with a very dark sounding intro that instantly had me hooked. The melody slowly creeps from nowhere to add an astounding element of dark emotion to this track. This track is the first on the album that includes a four to the floor beat but please don’t mistake this for a club track. This is very much a beautifully crafted piece of electronic music that would probably be categorised as downtempo electronica. Simply superb work from Deepfunk.
Next up is “Long Distance” which, as with the previous track, is a downtempo electronica track. The track features vocals from Kntrl who adds an almost Ian Brown like vocal to the track. Very indie sounding vocal that works very well with the haunting melodies.
The fifth track on the album is entitled “strangers” and features a superb female vocal from Yews who is a vocalist I have never heard before. The way her vocal is weaved in and out of the track has an almost Maya Jane Coles like production sound to the vocal. However this track is certainly not a house track. This track has a very much electronic breaks sound to it and again very downtempo.
Track number six is Ocean Traveller and this track is again a more intro based track but upon listening you just know this is the track that will lead to a more dance floor orientated sound for the next few tracks. I don’t know how this man manages to add such beauty to his tracks but he has definitely succeeded here. A superb track that has a strong emotional melody and even sounds of people by the sea… Very apt on this summers day, as I sit here reviewing this beautiful album with a cold German ale!
Next up we have a track named “Prophets Are Dead” which is definitely where the pace begins to kick it. A very clever breaks track with some great stabs and again a very strong and emotional melody that builds slowly and patiently into the break. Malcolm really does manage to weave some superbly intricate electronic sounds through this track that honestly had me lost for words. If you think Charlie May style melodies here you are on the money and I am not exaggerating when I say that.
“Obscure Intelligence” is next up. This track would be perfect for those early night progressive/techno warm ups. A beautiful piano runs through the track which really does grab your attention and then after the break the track does appear to pick up more pace with some intricate sounding effects and well thought out percussion. In a word wow!
“Murky Lake District” really does begin with how it means to continue. This low end bass driven progressive track would certainly move any dance floor. Again there is intricate melodies but with a more dance floor driven approach. Certainly something I could see the likes of Sasha and Warren playing to the more intelligent dance floors of the globe.
Next up with have “Drifting Away” which slows the pace slightly from the past couple of tracks and has an almost futuristic disco sound to it (whatever that means). The track climaxes with a synth heavy melody that just works so well. Not my favourite track on the album I must admit, but still very well put composed.
The eleventh track on the album is named “Sixtyseventhsun” which is obviously named after Malcolm’s label. Again a stunningly emotional track from the off that has an almost haunting quality to it with the strings and choir like melody. The melody builds nicely into the beats that are very electronic and almost have a New Order vibe. One track that would certainly gain some respect on the cooler dance floors.
Next we have “Seeing Everything Through Glasses” which features vocals by Mil Mi. This track does seem to go slightly off topic compared to the rest of the album. Unfortunately this track really doesn’t grab me at all but again still a very well produced and thought out track. I just don’t feel it compliments the rest of the album.
Track thirteen has been named “Celestial Manifestations” which is a breaks track that contains some great proggy sounding stabs and samples. Again a very strong melody throughout and certainly would not be amiss in one of James Zabiela’s breaks and downtempo mixes.
“What Have You Become” is next up and is another superbly produced piece of blissed out electronica. Would work as a superb intro or outro or a tool during sets to give the dance floor a well deserved rest. Love the bird samples that weave in and out the track!
Finally we have “Nostalgia Feat” which features vocals from Amelia Hope. This is a breaks based track with a wicked baseline. Again this track is very downtempo and could even be considered a hip hop in some ways.
All in all a very strong album composed by a man who is without a doubt one of the best producers around. There is a reason why Hernan Cattaneo charted this album in his May chart as number one! The vast majority of these tracks are not going to ignite dance floors and if that is what you are after I would not recommend this album. However if you are after an intellectual journey through electronic music then I can not recommend this album enough. If you buy one electronic music album this year buy this and you will not be disappointed.
Album track list
02 A Happy Tale
04 Long Distance Telephone Call Feat. Kntrl
05 Strangers Feat. Yews
06 Ocean Traveller
07 Prophets Are Dead
08 Obscure Intelligence
09 Murky Lake District
10 Drifting Away
11 Sixtyseventh Sun
12 Seeing Everything Through Glasses Feat. Mil Mi
13 Celestial Manifestations
14 What Have You Become
15 Nostalgia Feat. Amelia Hope