Munk - The Bird And The Beat (Gomma)

Ignore the chinstrokers and trainspotters… dance music is supposed to be fun, dammit. Just when you thought there was nothing new to say with a 4/4 beat, here comes Munk to get us smiling and grooving again.

Released Apr 25th, 2011 via Gomma / By Ben Wood
Munk - The Bird And The Beat (Gomma) The Bird and the Beat is the third album by German DJ dude Mathias Modica, head of Gomma Records. Released last month, it’s been raved about by the critics. And you know what? They’re right…

A host of female vocalists lend their own flavours to tunes that run the gamut from hands-in-the-air Ibiza terrace anthems ('La Musica') to freaked-out torch songs ('So Close'). This is all killer, no filler: unlike some DJ’s artist albums, there are no bloated ‘ten-minute ‘explorations’, just great grooves, eclecticism, hooks aplenty and a quirky sense of humour that keeps things just weird enough.

Some seriously nifty production ensures that every track has a host of tasty details to keep you interested. While the album is rooted in classic house and funk, there are nods to old-skool and acid, handclaps, uber-funky choppy guitar riffs, Latin polyrhythms and more lovely synth sounds than you can shake a glow-stick at.

'Can I Have Your Attention?' propels us onto the dancefloor, a jazzy slice of prime disco/house with epic strings and whining P-funk synths. 'La Musica' is the most obvious chart contender – leave your brain behind as the spacey keys and scatting female vocalist get us ready for take-off. 'No Moon (…Over Kuala Lumpur)' continues the Now That’s What I Call Ibiza vibe, a beach party stormer with those classic ’89 piano chords and singalong chorus: “the stars, the moon, a smile…”

The record never loses the funk, but branches out to take in house party weirdness (the somehow super-catchy 'Kitchen Call'), extreme rudeness ('Mi Labios'), malfunctioning computers (the closing 'Dort' ), and a few more thoughtful downtempo moments.

There’s a lot going on in these tracks, but Munk still makes them as catchy as hell. This is eclectic, emotional future soul - pretty much the perfect combination of art and commerce. Yep, Munk’s got the funk.