Munich's Chris de Luca and Michael Fakesch (Funkstörung) are better-known for their remixes (including those for Wu-Tang Clan and Björk) than for their own productions, which fuse playful melodies, granulated textures, and fractured, cubist electro-rhythms into crunchy, metallic hip-hop. Disconnected
is Funkstörung's first album since 2000's Appetite for Disctruction
. By working with "real" musicians -- trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, Jaga Jazzist drummer Martin Horntveth, and an odd array of singers (including Lamb's Lou Rhodes and Enik, the German, male version of Björk) and MCs (Tes and Rob Sonic) -- Funkstörung reveals an irreconcilable identity crisis. About half the disc features acoustic guitars, strings, and emotive vocalists in mildly seductive songs ultimately destined for Starbucks compilations.
Disconnected's other half spotlights Funkstörung's affinity for angular, avant-hip-hop stylings that discombobulate like Prefuse 73's best cuts. But whereas many electronic producers equate going organic with progress, Funkstörung has gotten real at its own peril. -- Dave Segal