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Don't Fake The Funk, Mutherfunker

Kruder And Dorfmeister
The K & D Sessions

First off, let me just say how much I really enjoy saying "Kruder And Dorfmeister." It's even more fun when you put on sort of an Austrian accent and say it like you think Arnold Schwarzeneggar would pronounce it. Something about it just sounds cool. Anyway, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I think that the first time I heard of these two guys, it was a couple years ago when I bought a Depeche Mode remix single and they had reworked it into one of their trademark Session tracks (which is, incidentally, included on this disc). The next thing I knew, they were releasing mix discs left and right and seemed to be everywhere I turned. Before long, they had released this modestly priced, double disc affair of their remix work.

While I'm not familiar with the original versions of many tracks of the 21 (and well over 2 hours of music) on this two disc set, the ones that I do know originally have gotten a big work over by the duo. The first track on the set to get a severe re-vamp is none other than "Heroes" by Roni Size/Reprazent off 1997s New Forms. Instead of the more uptempo, drum and bass of the original, the track has been turned into a laid-back downtempo shuffle of a track replete with nice bits of horns and huge pulsing bass. The only thing recognizable from the original is a little vocal snippet. Nearly the same thing has been done with Alex Reece's track "Jazz Master." The frantic beats are gone and are instead replaced with sort of a little samba line. It's another nice little sly number of the likes of which the duo is known for. Things get a little vocal on the next couple tracks with a reworking of Count Basic's "Speechless" and a completely different version (than what's on the original) of "Bug Powder Dust" from Bomb The Bass. They're both super funky and flavored with bit, thick beats. After a dub mix of the Aphrodelics "Rollin' On Chrome" the aforementioned mix of Depeche Modes "Useless," and another Count Basic track, the disc goes into a mix of "Donaueschingen" by Rainer Truby Trio that is like some sort of crazed future-jazz/lounge slab for the jetset. The seven-minute long track rumba's along for awhile fairly lightly before a nice chunky keyboard line starts slithering into the mix and some silly "la-la" vocals drift over it all. The disc closes out with a super-long version of Lambs "Trans Fatty Acid" from their Self-Titled first release. Instead of the huge, junked-out hip-hop beats of the original, though, K & D have twisted the song into sort of a beatnick, live sounding track complete with the correct amounts of vocal treatments and a touch of crowd noise. If you've heard the original, it's something completely different, yet very listenable.

The second disc starts out on that same laid-back tip with a reworking of David Holmes' "Gone" and go into nice workings of "Sofa Rockers" by the Sofa Surfers and a version of "Eastwest" by Mama Oliver. Once again, Bomb The Bass' "Bug Powder Dust" is included, but this time it's a wigged-out dub version that sounds considerably fatter than the one on the first side. Not content to be simply remixers and reworkers, the duo even contributes a couple very nice original tracks to the release. The first of these is the almost mis-named track "Boogie Woogie," which turns out to probably be the most ambient song on both discs. With only a simple wash of keyboards and an acoustic guitar, it's a nice interlude before things get funked-up again on the molasses-slow mix of "Where Should I Turn" by Sin. After a dub version of a Bone Thugs'N Harmony track, the duo again contains an original with the ambient "Lexicon." It's even more stripped-down than their other track and seems a stark contrast to the flavor they give to the tracks they're working over.

After listening to the disc, several things can be ascertained about Kruder and Dorfmeister. The first of these is that their work is super-solid. Even with the varying styles and amount of work that they've included on the two discs, almost every song is very listenable and many of them completely rock the funky beat. Although they have a definite style and tend to favor that bossanova organ with funky beats with a touch of dub, they work all the tracks differently and even the one song that is contained twice sounds completely different on each version. One other cool thing about the music is that all the tracks are mixed together on the individual discs, creating a seamless flow of smooth groove for the listener. If you're not quite into kickin' it full bore and want something to lay back and chill out to, look no further.

Rating: 8.25