1998 – Crammed Discs
Experimental electronic artist Buckfunk 3000’s strange record about Doctor Who’s Cybermen is and oddly engrossing mixture of funky dance beats, weird noise, hypnotic rhythms, and jarring discord, and, while this all sounds like it should just turn out to be a geeky mess of sound, it actually comes out alright.
Fried Funk & Microchips, the first full track on the record, is rather catchy in its own trance-like way. Its use of acid-house style jazz piano breaks work very well in setting up a mood of free –form dance-ability, which just as soon as it is created dissolves straight into the minimalist drum and bass of Planet Shock Future Rock, which comes across like a sort of less repetitive Daft Punk. There is also a nice self-consciously ‘futuristic’ sound throughout the record that really seems to fit with Buckfunk’s theme of cold, emotionless Cybermen.
I think the real charm of this record lies in Buckfunk’s minimal use of noise, preferring to work with a relatively small range of samples to create a very mechanised and empty feeling which just elevates the music above pure dance-floor pap. However, as is so often the case with this kind of music, he does not always succeed and the repetitions and length of some of the tracks do have a tendency to get a little bit boring.
Art Of Cybernetics, for example, while very good, verges on the tedious after about its fourth minute. I think perhaps I would like to have heard more change-ups in the rhythm or just a little more variation, but, as it stands, I did start to lose interest towards the end of that and a few of the other cuts.
Another small issue I have with this record is that it doesn’t seem to quite be able to decide between whether it is a fully-fledged dance album or more of an art piece in sound. I mean, there is plenty of stuff on here that is more than easy to dance to, but it wouldn’t be my pick if I wanted to get everyone out on the floor, and there is also a lot of meaty intellectual stuff to sink your teeth into if you feel inclined to get lost in the world of avant-garde electronic, but, by the same token, I wouldn’t choose it as a shining example of the genre. Really I think it’s just a little bit too mellow on both ends of the scale and just sits kind of comfortably in the middle not really standing out all that much. Maybe it’s that I got a taste of both sides of Buckfunk 3000 and saw that if the music were to decide on its direction then it would be really great, but as it is I was just left slightly wanting.
That being said, however, I do think that First Class Ticket To Telos is a very worthwhile record, and definitely one that anyone interested in the more obscure side of electronic or dance music should probably check out, but just be prepared to not quite have your mind blown. There’s a lot of interesting stuff on here and a lot of stuff that is really rather fun, but, at the same time, there is a bit that doesn’t really reach its potential.
Here is a great example of the kind of electronic minimalism that one can hear on Buckfunk 3000’s album ‘First Class Ticket To Telos’
- History of the Cybermen (doctorwhorpg.com)
- Big News For The Music Industry (alexlamond1.wordpress.com)