Mark Knight & Funkagenda vs Paul Thomas - Arena
Wed 29th Oct, 2008 Music Reviews 2684 viewsin
A rock solid and robust trio release the festival-friendly Arena on Toolroom this month following some serious mileage on electronic music guardian Radio 1. Riding the slipstream of the huge redub of Laurent Garniers influential techno cut Man With The Red Face, label chief Mark Knight again teams up with the tea-drinking phenomenon that is Funkagenda and Godskitchen Worldwide resident Paul Thomas for this big room tech-houser.
The promo contains two edits of the title track farcically entitled MK’s Very Clubby Mix and The Very Festivally Mix with no specification of an original cut. The opener drops immediately into a thumping bouncy kickdrum before whooshing noisily into a rolling progressive melody with no time wasted. With a signature Toolroom sound resonating throughout, the tracks amps up hard before dropping again into a reverberating electric melody. Funky and expansive, this no-nonsense tech house number has a great groove despite sticking to a fairly straightforward formula. The second mix knocks in with a punchier kick reminiscent of Marcus Schossow’s trademark hollow metallic sound. Much tighter and more direct, the summery mix manages to stay on the right side of the commercial fence. By bringing a chunkier feel and a wider range of sound, the trio absolutely nails this one, and the end product is a very accessible piece that is a deadset floorburner.
Arena is yet another typically sturdy release from Toolroom in spite of the questionable origin of the hook which is practically identical to the melody of Andy Ling’s prog-trance classic Fixation. Mark Knight and Funkagenda are already household names on our shores, but with a tour mooted for February 2009 and an intriguing hat-trick of releases on Global Underground under his belt, Paul Thomas may just be the next big thing – Nic Fanciulli certainly seems to think so.