Exposé Online banner

Funin — Unsound
(Karisma KAR057, 2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

Unsound Cover artGenres are for old fogeys. Who's to say music can't be electronic, folky, psychedelic, and progressive all at once? Certainly not Norway's Funin. This is one of the most wide-ranging releases I've heard in a while, featuring both male and female vocals in expansive sonic settings that seamlessly combine acoustic, electric, and electronic instruments. It's as if they spent time listening to classic Italian prog, Samla, Ennio Moricone, Portishead, Björk, and Porcupine Tree and decided there were really no differences between them. Just as an example, the short tune called "Rocking Chair" pulls off the impressive feat of including banjo, kalimba, acoustic bass, heavily processed percussion, distorted vocals, and skritchy violin, all combined with a number of things I can't even identify — and making it sound catchy. The female vocals most often take the lead, and they are indeed beautiful, sometimes breathy and whispered, sometimes full-throated and expressive. Somehow the electronic glitches don't get in the way of the musicians' playing, enhancing rather than obscuring their efforts. I suppose Funin won't appeal to die-hard traditionalists or anti-digital purists, but prog fans with some flexibility in their preferences should give this a spin.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Funin

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute – If you poke around online for reviews of this album, you’re likely to find everything from “masterpiece” to “piece of crap.” Well, anything that sparks that much disagreement can’t be all...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues