To say that Sascha Funke is prolific is probably a bit of an understatement. In the past eight years or so, he's released over thirty 12"s, over fifteen remixes for different artists, his solo debut album,and mixed the excellent Boogy Bytes Volume 2. It's been almost five years since Bravo came out, though, and although Mango finds Sascha Funke in a much more consistent zone in terms of sound, it's still a somewhat inconsistent effort given his great ear for mixes.
The album actually starts out with what is easily one of the best tracks on the entire release in the album-titled "Mango." Pinging percussion hits and slow-moving bass tones eventually pulse forward into a bright dance track full shimmering synths that's about as austere as they come. "Feather" and "Take A Chance With Me" both continue this mellow and clean production vibe, marrying breathy synths and occasionally pitch-bent synth warbles to float out over steady kick beats.
On the other side of things, Funke veers into some odd electronic pop at times, and the result isn't always that great. "Lotre (Mehr Fleisch)" hums away with retro drum machine sounds and slowly-building synth layers before odd, filtered vocals creep into the mix. The result is a track that sounds at least a decade old, and not in a good way, playing out like a somewhat cheesy trance/house track of the mid 90s (think Laurent Garnier not at his best). "We Are Facing The Sun" doesn't incorporate vocals, but again falls prey to retro-leanings, with a looped piano melody that doesn't really go anywhere, and less-than-subtle beat programming that sounds completely out-of-place considering the songs around it.
"Double-Checked" will likely find a lot of DJ play as well, as resonating, almost metallic beats slam for almost seven minutes as minimal, hypnotic synths serpentine around it and filtered vocal passages blurt out lines over the top. Given his great ear for mixes and remixes, it seems somewhat strange that Funke's full-length solo releases leave a bit to be desired, but perhaps he just tries to really work a wide range of sounds when he should be focusing a bit more. As with the first go-around, there are some great tracks on Mango, but some head-scratchers as well.