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Munich's Funkstörung have been described as the German Autechre, a description which probably has less to do with their sound than the interest the group has attracted to their Musik Aus Strom label. Similar to Autechre's Skam label, Musik Aus Strom (German, roughly, for "synthesizer music") became one of the more collectible, obsessed-over underground electronica labels, coveted as much for the Skam-esque enigma about them as the increasing exchange between the two labels' rosters (a connection the two sealed in 1997 with the release of the limited-edition Mask series, a collaboration between the labels and their respective artists). Composed of Michael Fakesch and Chris de Luca, Funkstörung's excursions into dark, muddy, lo-fi electro and instrumental hip-hop were preceded by a number of relatively straight-ahead techno records on Bunker sublabel Acid Planet beginning in 1995. The duo was contacted soon after by none other than Aphex Twin's Rephlex label about releasing some material, but stalled plans and unanswered phone calls led the pair to forego the label-shopping route early on, and the majority of their most significant early material (with the exception of a few compilation tracks and a single for Compost) appeared through MAS. Although the Bunker singles far outnumbered their later self-released material, MAS 12"s such as "Zeit," "Breakart," and "Artificial Garbage" revealed the group's more sophisticated, mature sound. The hotly pursued Mask series did much for the group's visibility; limited to between 100 and 500 copies per release (in successively increasing quantities), Mask releases included tracks from Funkstörung and Skam's Jega, Bola, and Boards of Canada. In 1999, Studio !K7 released the remix collection Additional Productions, and Funkstörung returned one year later with their full-length debut, Appetite for Disctruction. Three limited release CD-R albums followed: Kryptofunk (2000), Acid Planet 11 (2001), and Acid Planet 12 (2002). In 2004 they issued Disconnected, followed the same year by another pair of extremely limited CD-R releases: Funkstörung on Ear and Acid Planet 14. In 2005, Funkstörung issued the acclaimed Return to the Acid Planet, commemorating their tenth anniversary and featuring new versions of unissued tracks and new material. They would release one more private CD-R, 2006's Bunker 24, before ceasing collaborative activity to concentrate on solo careers. After a decade, Funkstörung returned to recording. A pre-release single, "Laid Out (Featuring Anothr)," appeared in March of 2015 via a free download; it was followed by a self-titled full-length on Monkeytown that summer.
© Sean Cooper /TiVo


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