a disparate duo bringing house into the future
Funkinevil, a duo known for zany interpretations of house music, has a tricky time slot as the openers for this Spring Weekend. While organizers want to get the party immediately pumping, they also want to make the starting minutes accessible for stragglers and those still a little too buzzed to know what’s going on. Funkinevil is an ideal opening act, even if you’re unfamiliar with these names. They’re no strangers to clubs and underground life, nor to high-energy venues above the surface.
Despite the fact that they’re a duo, they’re perhaps best identifiable through their independent work. On one side of this duo, you have West Londoner Steven Julien, also known as Funkineven, and on the other side, you have Detroit artist Kyle Hall, who unfortunately lacks a cool pseudonym. Hall’s latest solo album, “From Joy,” exemplifies how his eclectic tastes—mixing disco, electropop, jazz, and more—can take on house music and bring it to new heights. The album is aptly titled; Pitchfork described it as “warm but approachable” in its imaginative fervor. Funkineven is a lover of house music as well, but he infuses his songs with hip-hop, soul, techno, and synths upon synths. Throwing these two together in the Large Hadron Collider that is the music business sounds like chaos, but the resulting calamity is some of the best house music out there today.
Unconvinced? Try out “Ignorant,” a song off their second EP as a duo, which is as eccentric as the duo in its boogie-fied house production. It’s six-and-a-half minutes of threadbare beats, an incessant snare drum, and a restrained bassline, all of which smolders then flares up into a fire of pure, funky energy. Or check out the intro to their first EP “Funkinevil Night,” which is as sparkly and hazy as a Lisa Frank-styled sunrise.
Funkinevil will be unfamiliar to the majority of the people crowding the Main Green as the Spring Weekend concert kicks off. But their music, while definitely strange and different, has an underlying vigor and emotion that’s at once relatable and galvanizing. Try to not be late, lest you miss an electrifying opening.