Funktionslust's EP inspirations include a Twin Peaks-esque owl, Prince and the sheer anticipation that comes with club music.
Funktionslust: "The otherworldliness of Washington State has been a huge influence on our music. There was one night, a summer ago, when we were out on a train track next to the Puget Sound, at the bottom of this forested area just north of Seattle. We couldn’t hear it coming, but a train was steaming around the corner. As its horn blew, we jumped off the tracks with barely a second to spare. Running back towards the path, we looked up and saw a Twin Peaks-esque owl looking directly down at us. We both stopped and stared. It felt oddly transcendental after our close call."
Funktionslust: "Some of the biggest musical influences on this EP also came from the Pacific Northwest. The four most exciting to us are: Built to Spill’s Perfect From Now On, Modest Mouse's The Moon & Antarctica’ Shabazz Palaces Black Up and THEESatisfaction's EarthEE. Another album that has been on repeat for the last year is Robbie Basho’s ‘Visions of the Country,’ a record inspired by the west coast of the USA, albeit further south."
Funktionslust: "These are both predominant themes throughout the EP. Joe suffered from severe agoraphobia when he was younger, which culminated in not seeing anybody for two years in his mid teens. Sage comes from a boarding school education in the States, far from an urban environment, so both of us have different inhibitions we fight socially. We feel the Internet has made it easier for people like us to further alienate ourselves with faux digital connection. The need to connect in more ‘real world’ scenarios has inspired us greatly, as have our feelings of confusion and uncertainty in a quickly evolving urban landscape."
Funktionslust: "Sound is so vast and malleable with the current software and hardware out there; so to reign in our ideas and create boundaries for consistency and identity, we decided to work with a limited amount of hardware. Therefore it can’t be ignored the influence that Elektron gear has had over our music."
Funktionslust: "Dave Okumu was my guitar teacher for a couple of terms when I was at university. At the time he was working on Jessie Ware’s first album and would talk to me about letting the song be what it needs to be. He helped me embrace cheesiness when the time calls for it. This helped give us the confidence to let go a bit more in our work and be bolder in our stylistic and melodic choices." – Joe
Funktionslust: "Living nearby in Brockley, the music emanating out of Peckham has been inescapable and truly exciting to witness. Rye Wax and Yam Records have also been great in recommending some of our favourite new vinyls (such as Henry Wu's Good Morning Peckham and Satoshi Tomiee's New Day.) We believe a lot of our work has probably been subconsciously shaped by what we see and hear in our local South East London surroundings."
Funktionslust: "Sound was a crucial focus in the making of this EP. Harmony and melody are of course exciting to experiment with but with these songs we were most interested in the sounds themselves, and how changing/evolving sounds can create new contexts for our songwriting. This came to us after watching an old VH1 documentary about Frank Zappa, in which he says something along the lines of, "If you play a raga with a distortion pedal, it’s rock." The pop sensibility in our melodic and harmonic choices acted as an anchor to our sound experimentation."
Funktionslust: "The way a lot of club music plays with anticipation has always been a huge influence on our work: something dropping in, something dropping out, white noise etc. All these things help to signify the listener, “something is happening.” That’s so exciting to us, just the fact that you can communicate something in such a clear basic way. It gives you endless possibilities, and we’re not talking about “THE DROP” by any means. We try to think carefully about where we’re leading the listener. Sometimes that place is just straight ahead."
Funktionslust: "Prince has inspired both of us dramatically. His first 10 albums are pretty solid (that’s amazing in itself) but each album seems to contain one or two idiosyncratic songs - even in the context of how unique the albums are - that are just incredible. The unsung heroes of Prince’s early discography: Something In the Water, Annie Christian, The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, Computer Blue etc. These songs are incredible pieces of experimental pop. In our eyes they seem to transcend genre in a way that Prince’s other material doesn’t."
Funktionslust: "Getting space from each other has also been a subliminal inspiration haha… a quest for independence. We do everything together; make music, share a bed, a flat, a workspace, go to clubs, to the cinema, to Sainsbury’s etc… Being in such a committed and creative partnership beckons for breathing space. We go through lots of painful things together, but also make each other so happy. Creating leases of independence and making sure we mature as individuals has inspired a lot of the feeling behind the EP."
Click the first image above to launch the gallery.
Funktionslust first formed in London, when members Sage Redman and Joe Gliick met during their first year of university. Sage grew up in Seattle to “super unmusical” parents, but her uncle had connections to the grunge scene and gifted her with CDs featuring classic rock songs like Life On Mars. Joe however, grew up in London, where he was exposed to the locally en vogue music of grime crews like Ruff Sqwad and Roll Deep early on.
There's more about Funktionslust in the Next feature we did before their appearance at Dummy Presents alongside Wet backin September, but it's been a successful year for the duo, with a flurry of high profile shows and their finale for 2015 - upcoming EP ' Window'.
Stream the EP below and check the inspirations on 'Window' in the gallery above, which features a near-miss observed by a Twin Peaks-esque owl in Washington State through to Prince and Elektron gear.