Jun 2011 16

Cover Image
Funker Vogt
Category: Industrial / EBM
Album: Red Queen
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Funker Vogt’s concept EP is well worked, but far from a checkmate.


The Red Queen EP showcases remixes of the Survivor track by the same name, each track a remix by Funker Vogt under various Wonderland-inspired titles. Known for harsh EBM and grinding vocals, Funker Vogt takes a new turn with Red Queen. Vocalist Jens Kästel abandons his typical heavily distorted scream for a more somber, softer vocal track. This style suits the track very well, but is very strange when considering the usual Funker Vogt sound. However, Kästel keeps the music true to the band and doesn’t compromise anything for the variation.

The original cut of “Red Queen” that rounds out the end of the EP is a staggering 12 minute track, heavy and dramatic with grand overtones, guitars and crashes that build from a quiet beginning of piano and echoing drums. It seems that Funker Vogt is calling back to decades ago when people didn’t seem to care how long a track was. Again, these are not the typical Funker Vogt vocals – “Red Queen” is more melodramatic than battle cry. Despite being a break from typical style, “Red Queen” is an excellent track, dramatic and grand, blending into an electro/down-tempo ending for a smooth trail-out. The EP also contains an original, instrumental track titled “Chessman’s Square,” a heavy dance club song that is smooth, upbeat, and with a good groove. Like the title track, this one also sounds starkly different from Funker Vogt’s usual style.

But as is the case with most EPs, the remixes are what weigh the work as a whole down. The mixes are each well crafted and manage to capture their Wonderland remix titles. The White Rabbit remix is high energy and club-like, the Cheshire Cat remix is ethereal and airy, the Humpty Dumpty remix is foreboding and atmospheric. The Mad Hatter mix stands out from the rest with solid pacing and excellent bass and electronics. Funker Vogt puts itself in an interesting position, though, by being the sole remixer on this EP. On the one hand, the band does not have to worry about other artists mangling and misshaping their music, thereby dragging down the EP. However, the fact that Funker Vogt is the sole remixer limits the range of style that could be present, and thus the remixes do not particularly stand out from each other. Some may enjoy the close-knit style of the music, but when “remix” is attached to the end of a song title, one typically expects a reimagining, and the remixes tend to sound awfully similar to each other and to the original piece. In the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat remixes, Funker Vogt rerecords the vocals in an attempt to fit the moods of the songs; the results, though, are vocals that sound faux regal, overdramatic, and too comical to focus on the song.

“Red Queen” is an excellent track and a good divergence from the normal styling of Funker Vogt. But if a band is going to remix their own music, the remix and the song need to feel different as well as sound different.
Track list:

  1. Red Queen (Remixed by The Mad Hatter)
  2. Red Queen (Remixed by The Cheshire Cat)
  3. Chessman’s Square
  4. Red Queen (Remixed by Humpty Dumpty)
  5. Red Queen (Remixed by The White Rabbit)
  6. Red Queen (Album Version)

Funker Vogt Website (English) http://funker-vogt.com
Funker Vogt Website (German) http://www.funkervogt.de
Funker Vogt MySpace http://www.myspace.com/funkervogt
Funker Vogt Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Funker-Vogt-offiziell/103288856405305
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)

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