Tom Porcell and Kevin Sieja, better known as Funabashi have delighted fans by not just returning after a 6 year hiatus, but by unexpectedly also releasing their debut album ‘A Walk To Remember’ on Tool Trance (sub-label of Tool Records).
Funabashi productions and remixes have a deliciously distinctive Progressive sound, which has always stood them apart from their peers. So is ‘A Walk To Remember’ more of the same, or a signal for a change of direction?
The good news is that this is unmistakably a Funabashi album, with classic productions such as ‘The Legacy’ and the new title track ‘A Walk To Remember’ bouncing with cheerful, melodic beats. But this is a true artist album, and not just a Trance album, and that means experimentation with different genres and sounds.
‘Dimension Seven’ which is a collaboration with Ralph Novell, has a driving, Tech-Trance baseline more synonymous with the A State of Trance radioshows of recent years. ‘Lost Thoughts’ however, is a more chilled stripped-back piece with a flowing piano melody.
The album is more Progressive House than Progressive Trance, and my favourite of the new productions is ‘Lemon Monster’, with it’s simple guitars and strings.
On the whole, the experimental tracks work well, but I don’t personally think that they are as strong as their older carefully polished Progressive Trance productions we know and love such as Daylight. With it’s mixture of old and new productions, and differing tempos, the album doesn’t feel like a cohesive album, rather a collection of music.
I think that Tom and Kevin sets their sights very high when they produced this album, as the attention to detail is faultless. While they may not have quite hit the heights they intended, the album is still a very enjoyable listen and highly recommended to all Progressive music lovers.
If you listen with an open mind and without preconceptions, ‘A Walk To Remember’ is one of the best and most interesting new albums of the summer.