Apron Records boss Steven Julien (aka Funkineven) follows up 2016’s Fallen LP with a mini-album of redline analog house rhythms laced with loose autobiographical themes. It’s as if Julien’s retrofitting acid house and saturated jazz-funk as the soundtrack of his ancestors’ migration from the West Indies to the UK, but in a way that makes perfect sense and isn't bratty: “The influence my family has given me growing up and my ancestors from Africa to Native Indians from the Caribbean, has all played a big part in the music I create.” The record is also a dedication to Japanese engineer and Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi, who passed away last year, and every track on Bloodline features the Kakehashi-designed TR-808 drum machine in some capacity. “Hunt" starts off Side A with some Twin Peaks-esque lost-in-the-woods horrorshow biz, before “Roll Of The Dice” comes in hot with a rather nihilistic Sequential Circuits Drumtraks riddim; paired with that sinister acid line it sounds like what Dam-Funk’s Rhythm Trax sessions may have yielded if he had an ounce of skunk and a 303 on hand. More electro drum track madness on the title track before a pair of Terminator chords seep in and elevate the tension. “Queen Of Ungilsan” is the most sublime cut on offer, taking full advantage of the 808's rimshots and cowbells, laced with a thumping arp bassline and some heavenly chords sourced by Detroit wiz Byron The Aquarious. Julien sends you on your way with a squirmy bassline and more divine jazz chords on B-side closer “Idk.” He’s literally one of only a small handful of producers making music like this (don’t you dare call it l_-f_ h___e) that are still cop-on-sight in 2018. Six tracks total, housed in full-color pic sleeve with printed inner sleeve and liner notes. Recommended.
- full-color picture sleeve
- printed inner sleeve w/ liner notes
- music label: Apron Records 2018
reviewed by edward james almost 05/2018
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