Function Site

Function

One of tech­no’s true under­ground heroes, Func­tion (Dave Sum­n­er) has been DJing and mak­ing music for over 25 years. He is a found­ing mem­ber of the Sandwell Dis­trict col­lec­tive, Ostgut record­ing artist and own­er of Infrastructure.

Hail­ing from New York, he was seduced by tech­no when Jeff Mills held res­i­den­cy (as well as his own first) at Lime­light in the ear­ly 90s. Pro­duc­ing from the mid-90s onward, he released his first 12“s on Damon Wild’s Synewave and his own Infra­struc­ture imprint. A chance meet­ing in 1996 brought him togeth­er with Reg­is (Karl O’Con­nor). The two worked as Por­tion Reform, releas­ing uncom­pro­mis­ing music on Down­wards, mak­ing him the only non-Birm­ing­ham pro­duc­er to appear on the label. He lat­er moved to Berlin in 2007, still work­ing with Reg­is, and now Silent Ser­vant (Juan Mendez), putting his focus on Sandwell Dis­trict. Since, the label come col­lec­tive, sky­rock­et­ed into cult sta­tus — decen­tral­iz­ing the artist ego, blur­ring the lines between the artist, label and dj; re-arrang­ing the DNA of mod­ern dance music.

Ini­tial­ly releas­ing records under their own iden­ti­ties, as the label’s suc­cess grew, it came to be seen increas­ing­ly as a col­lec­tive enti­ty, releas­ing tracks and albums anony­mous­ly part­ly in revolt against the increas­ing­ly celebri­ty-ori­ent­ed DJ cul­ture of the time, cul­mi­nat­ing in its 2010 col­lec­tive album Feed For­ward. Their sound has been high­ly influ­en­tial across the fol­low­ing gen­er­a­tion of tech­no musi­cians, and has informed a major shift in world tech­no. By the time the label announced its glo­ri­ous death” in 2012 (con­tin­u­ing only as a per­form­ing act) the Amer­i­can Bill­board mag­a­zine would write that Sandwell Dis­tric­t’s influ­ence on under­ground tech­no can hard­ly be overstated.”

The move to Berlin proved suc­cess­ful, bring­ing both Func­tion and Sandwell Dis­trict to enig­mat­ic sta­tus. Head­lin­ing fes­ti­vals world­wide, his sets at Labyrinth, Japan from 2009 – 2011 became things of leg­end; Sandwell clos­ing Sonar’s main stage in 2010 proved their impact, with reg­u­lar Time Warp, Awak­en­ings and Dek­man­tel appear­ances (to name a few), com­bined with fre­quent club appear­ances at Berghain, Berlin; Fab­ric, Lon­don; and The Bunker, New York, and oth­er key tech­no clubs/​parties around the world, Sum­n­er’s sta­tus as one of tech­no’s most impor­tant fig­ures became evident.

After dis­band­ing in 2013, their final trans­mis­sion being; Fab­ric 69: Sandwell Dis­trict, Sum­n­er was invit­ed to join the Ostgut fam­i­ly, releas­ing his debut album, the crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed, Incu­ba­tion on Ostgut Ton, and becom­ing a Berghain res­i­dent. In 2015 he con­tributed to the notable Berghain mix series releas­ing, Berghain 07 — Func­tion; the game-chang­ing series which left behind the mix CD for­mat, mak­ing the mix avail­able as a free .WAV down­load and Sound­cloud stream along­side two EPs with eight exclu­sive tracks by var­i­ous artists.

The album Incu­ba­tion land­ed on Ostgut Ton in 2013 and was a heavy impact­ing reminder of Func­tion’s sin­gle-hand­ed tal­ents, solid­i­fy­ing his sta­tus as a solo artist. The album flows very flu­id­ly and is metic­u­lous­ly detailed with a futur­ist and fore­bod­ing sci-fi feel­ing through­out. The LP cir­cles in hyp­not­ic loops with unset­tling tones lur­ing you into the dark­est cor­ners of your mind. From the day of release, Incu­ba­tion is right­ful­ly con­sid­ered as a land­mark in tech­no’s ever grow­ing history.

In addi­tion, in 2014, he col­lab­o­rat­ed with Vat­i­can Shad­ow on Hos­pi­tal Pro­duc­tions, releas­ing Games Have Rules, a beau­ti­ful full length ambi­ent affair. Feel­ing the need for a plat­form to explore devel­op­ing new artists and an out­let for solo mate­r­i­al, he then decid­ed to relaunch the 9 years dor­mant, Infra­struc­ture New York, in 2015 — releas­ing a string of beau­ti­ful­ly craft­ed 12“s and albums, devel­op­ing a camp of new exclu­sive artists; Camp­bell Irvine, Post Scrip­tum, Mar­i­ano DC and Function/​Inland, as well as involv­ing tech­no clas­sics such as Steve Bick­nell and Altern8’s Mark Archer (Track­man). Going on to release the quadru­ple pack vinyl/​CD label com­pi­la­tion; Infra­struc­ture — Fac­tic­i­ty, in 2016.

In 2017, Func­tion estab­lished a new res­i­den­cy, being the only inter­na­tion­al res­i­dent at Bassiani, in Tbil­isi, Geor­gia. He also cel­e­brat­ed near­ly 25 years as a record­ing artist, releas­ing a ret­ro­spec­tive com­pi­la­tion for the new­ly formed Ostgut Ton off-shoot; A‑Ton.

Along­side an already event­ful year, Func­tion engaged in a new project which would form the tech­no super­group LSD in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Luke Slater and Steve Bick­nell that they would described as lyser­gic machine music”. The trio debuted on Ostgut Ton with a 3 track EP titled Process”, too much acclaim, in con­junc­tion with mes­meris­ing per­for­mances at both ADE and Berghain which led to them play­ing head­line shows ever since. A lot more music by LSD is soon sur­fac­ing as well.

Then, 2019 will see Func­tion re-invent­ing him­self once again: releas­ing a fresh batch of new­ly orches­trat­ed pro­duc­tions in the near future and roar­ing with ener­gy to get back on the road play­ing shows. As always, Func­tion keeps on shift­ing to the next gear and will no doubt be turn­ing a lot of heads in the years to come.

Latest updates

Function remixes Dense & Pika

Function remixes Dense & Pika

Function's live stream for ARTE

Function's live stream for ARTE

Function and Donato Dozzy feature on Tresor 30

Function and Donato Dozzy feature on Tresor 30

Function & Adam X as NYCTA on Slam Radio

Function & Adam X as NYCTA on Slam Radio

Function & Peter Van Hoesen Blocaus Series compilation

Function & Peter Van Hoesen Blocaus Series compilation

Function - Subject F (Transcendence) EP

Function - Subject F (Transcendence) EP

Function & Ron Morelli on Air Texture compilation

Function & Ron Morelli on Air Texture compilation

LSD return with new 12-inch

LSD return with new 12-inch

Function Crack Mag feature + premiere

Function Crack Mag feature + premiere

RA review: Function - Existenz

RA review: Function - Existenz

Let's talk music!

Hi!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any info, availability, or requests about DJ Nobu, Donato Dozzy, Function, Kangding Ray, LF58, Marco Shuttle, Mike Parker, Neel, Peter Van Hoesen, Shifted, SØS Gunver Ryberg, Steve Bicknell, SYNC, and Wata Igarashi via the form on the right. I’ll be happy to help and get back to you as soon as I can.

Cheers,

Michael

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