The auspiciously awesome band Funkommunity has finally made their international debut. Last week the group–fronted by producer/musician Isaac Aesili and singer Rachel Fraser –released their highly anticipated full length album ‘Chequered Thoughts‘.
We got blue balls over the album’s initial release in October, and what a tease, because it was only available in New Zealand and Australia. This year’s release is on a much larger scale, thanks to the progressively funky German label Melting Pot Music. The anticipation for a worldwide release reached fever pitch when the group dropped their first single “Pass It On” in January; and when they released their haunting video for “Dandilion” in April, we all knew just how fucking amazing the album was gonna be.
The album’s line up is a reflection of the burgeoning underground scene down under. Isaac is credited with most of the production, with fellow kiwi visionaries Julien Dyne on drums/percussion, and Christoph El Truento & Taay Ninh (Electric Wire Hustle) on controls.
‘Chequered Thoughts’ is an outstanding experiment of sight through sound. Isaac and Rachel’s chemistry in song is the driving force between the two, and their musical connection is evident through this masterful balance between vocals, instruments and sound. The album’s flow creates little turbulence and makes seamless shifts between uptempo jams and slower grooves.
Single “Pass It On” starts the album off, setting the album’s pace, with its catchy futuristic groove. Rachel’s cheeky style charts the album’s course, through punchy layers of instruments and trippy vocals.
Perky tracks like “What You Give”, “The Light”, “Scorceress” and ”Yeah” give the album a continuous forward motion. While, mororphine injected tracks like ”Dandilion” slow the album down to a sultry grind, with its mesmerizing mix of sample loops and dub synths. Back to back instrumentals ”Liquefaction” (a delightful, robotic samba groove) & ”Northwest & 4th” (a horn laden jam, with an air of sophistication) quietly make their way onto the album, simultaneously serving as a showcase for Isaac’s horn ballads, and a opportunity for the listeners to float aimlessly through the vastness of sounds.
“Make It That Way” and “Start Again” round the album out. Beautifully framing Rachel’s siren like vocals, that seemingly call from the distance. ”Hold On To Me” finishes the album off with a bottom heavy bass line and trunk shaking rattle. Rachel gets more physical on this track and gives the song grit, as well as grace.
‘Chequered Thoughts’ defy’s the senses, creating three dimensional sound. The album is a fresh look through new ears, and if Funkommunity is any indication of the untapped talent in New Zealand, ”Chequered Thoughts’ will serve as the gateway to the music of the future.