I’ve been holding out on posting about this song for a couple of years now, primarily because this is a blog on which we tend to explore the artistry behind music and part of that demands some knowledge of the artist in question. Funkerman was and, even after a cursory look at a cursory Wikipedia entry, remains a mystery to me. How this song ended up lodged deep within my music library and took hold is also hazy. What is clear is that from the time I appropriated this track it has served a particularly important role in my collection. ‘Fallin’ in Love’ is without doubt one of my favourite songs of the last few years (even though it was released in 2006), and an intrinsically enigmatic character likely plays into that. Devoid of the trappings that accompany big name house artists nowadays, I have been able to enjoy the sultry tones of ‘Fallin’ In Love’ for a couple of years with a mindset unclouded by context or positioning, the kind of sociocultural framing that inevitably accompanies artistic consumption, and just really dug the music.
Even now, with the knowledge that I now have of the track, it seems self-sustaining, as though that added contextual information is just that, peripheral, and doesn’t necessarily inform or improve upon a listen. Knowing that Funkerman is in fact the co-founder of Dutch record label Flamingo Recordings which in reality is a front for Funkerman and Fedde le Grand (other co-founder) releases is interesting trivia but apart from the girl-synth intersection at the heart of FLG hits like the Camille Jones-assisted ‘The Creeps‘, there’s not a whole lot of similarity between the two Dutch house producers. It is interesting to note that the man behind ‘‘ was likely in the studio or nearby as the finishing touches were put on ‘Fallin’ In Love’ but doesn’t really serve to suggest how that dancefloor-ready single influenced the production of this considerably more nuanced, more layered song. That Funkerman comes from Dutch house stock rather than from the Swedish brand now sweeping the globe explains some of the understatement in this track, a lesser concern with the ubiquitous ‘drop’ but says nothing about how such breathy, ostensibly thin vocals end up being so impactful.
Instead of looking to the Internet for explanation and research for answers, I am content today with curtailing my exploration of Funkerman’s past – and, indeed, any inquiry into exactly who Digital Mode and Layla Moore are and whether they endorse remode teamwork more generally – and just living with the song. At 3’30″, it is also awkwardly amputated as that disembodied, airy-light voice claims ‘I couldn’t hel…’ and yet, although I that it stretches to over five minutes, there is something transfixing about the cyclical, looped nature of the whole piece that makes the arbitrary, abrupt end to my edition more exciting still. Lulled into a sense of security by the regularity with which the twitchy synths arrive, the consistency with which JW, the vocalist, arrives to revoice her mantra and the underwater reverberations that punctuate the track like so many ellipses, the unexpected break in my version of the track irritates me and intrigues me in equal measure every time. As a random byproduct of this digital, connected age, this truncated remode is evidence that you don’t need the whole story, or even the whole track, to really immerse yourself in music. This song, coming out of left field, is actually the work of a guy with serious Dutch house heritage roots, brought to us by way of two (?) unknown accomplices, but all that ceases to matter when you dive under the waves of ‘Fallin’ In Love’.
Funkerman – Fallin’ In Love Ft. JW (Digital Mode & Layla Moore Remode)