Function ‎– Anticipation

Sandwell District ‎– SD 10
Vinyl, 12", Limited Edition, White


Companies, etc.



℗ & © Sandwell District 2008.
Recorded at Inanimate Objects, Berlin.
Distributed by Veto Music Wholesale (Sandwell).

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A): MATT ALCHEMY MPO SD010 B1
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B): MPO SD010 A1 MATT ALCHEMY

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January 20, 2015
This gorgeous slab of minimal techno will be re-released some time in 2015. So, keep your wallets safe & sound, be patient...


July 10, 2014
To some of us, it feels like Dave Sumner has been around as long as the word "techno" as we've come to know it. Despite of his apparent musical ubiquitousness, it was until, as a member of the highly revered Sandwell District collective, that the man known simply as Function finally gained substantial place under the spotlight. Yet as immediately recognizable as the collective's sound is (was) - chilly, brooding and enormous - it was David Sumner who arguably gained the most from his stint with the label. His musical evolution is immense - from the harshness of Infrastructure New York and Synewave through to the restrained, bare bones minimalism of his SD releases and then his final affirmation via his long overdue debut album on Berlin's Ostgut Ton imprint, his move to Berlin and his well deserved residency at the Berghain club, the man has done it all and with a bang. Which brings me to this release. In my opinion, his finest one with this label.

Despite an undeniable valley of chilly atmosphere throughout, the EP is thoroughly rough and invigorating. Disaffected is the toughest track he's recorded for Sandwell District, hitting a higher bpm range for some driving kick stomping, and its heavy pulse is only the tip of the iceberg: Function slips long phrases of echoing icy synths into the brew, breathing into the cut some surprisingly sophisticated, acidic dissonance and atonal musicality. Peak time intensity and narcotic hypnosis is achieved with Function's signature crispy & clear drum arrangements backing up warm, leisurely developing chords and bleeping acid synths that wouldn't feel misplaced on an old Plastikman record.

Burn boasts one of those epic, cinematic intros applied by Function on beloved tracks such as Isotope or his all time master stroke Montage, before settling into a rolling, grumbling rhythm emphasized by the juxtaposition of delicate key chimes, ominous rattles and a pulsating, booming-yet-calculated techno throb. While the B side obviously does not pound as hard as its devious counterpart, it's the shifty, shadowy melody that makes for something at least as tense, and the ascending vocals during the track's opening create pleasant tension and anticipation. Function's techno may be uniformly looming and dark-hewn, but it certainly isn't monolithic, let alone monotonous, despite a heavy accent on minimalism.
Compared to Disaffected, it slips into a slightly slower house tempo but swiftly transposes into darker textures with an evil synthline and generally nasty vibes overseen by gnarling sounds that permeate the track. Crawling, evil, dity and clinically produced. In my opinion, Burn is a masterpiece of cutting edge, bass injected minimalist techno.

The styles on this piece of wax could not be any purer, just stripped techno goodness with all the cliches removed and every element toned and tweaked to perfection. To me, this EP perfectly encapsulates David Sumner's maturation and adoption to (back then) current trends without losing his artistic integrity and falling into the trap of sounding like damn everyone else. The aesthetic is minimal yet complex, apparently sparse yet incredibly detailed and tailored with the utmost attention to miniscule effects and microscopic passages that will keep on revealing themselves to the listener for years to come. Listen to this after enjoying some of his material from the nineties and then dive deep into his last year's album. Just feel the progression, it is staggering. There, somewhere in the middle, lies "Anticipation", one of David Sumner's, and Sandwell District's for that matter, undiminished and untarnished manifests of forward thinking, floor friendly and thought provoking techno music. Unbridled excellence. Some would go for "Isolation", his SD debut, but I am totally sold to his sophmore offering for the label...
As somebody else aptly put it: this is the sound that has never been, shall always be, yet may never be again.