Pigeon Funk is a minimal techno side project initiated by San Francisco producers Kit Clayton, Sutekh, and Safety Scissors in 2001. Though originally released as a series of EP-length "battles" among the three artists, the trio's Pigeon Funk! compilation is still remarkably consistent, a weird collage of scattershot samples and random computer programming.
Peppered with bizarre asides such as "Pombo Doente," on which a narrator explains the biology of pigeons over a mash-up of erratic glitch, Pigeon Funk is hardly a straight-up techno recording in the vein of Richie Hawtin or Jeff Mills. Eschewing 4/4 patterns, it putters along in arrhythmic formations, occasionally breaking down into staccato noises reminiscent of a heart pounding. Other songs such as "Anotherp" don't have beats at all, but are just enigmatic sounds that shift and sway like Teutonic plates. The project would come off as more Bay Area experimentalism were it not for the presence of a handful of great funk tracks, including the brisk "Süsser Schlam" and the grimy, animalistic "Fly the Coop." These unabashed dance workouts hold the album together in spite of its wayward urges.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.