This new double A-side single, collectively titled The Box, is a meticulously recorded funky solo effort by Urian Hackney. Envelope-pushing sounds come natural to Urian as his father and uncles were members of cult Detroit proto-punk band Death, as profiled in the acclaimed documentary A Band Called Death. As noted in the film, Urian and his own brothers continued the legacy of Death by forming their own tribute to the band. This evolved into the band Rough Francis, self-described as “channeling live energy from ’60s garage rock, Motown, and ‘80s hardcore.“
With The Box – named after his studio in Burlington, Vermont – Urian Hackney presents two songs intended to send the listener back in time to the smooth, funky sonic realm of the ’70s. All instruments were played by Urian, multi-tracked one-by-one to a tape machine through microphones aimed at amplifier cones and drum heads. It comes together sounding like some rare 7” that might be found in DJ Shadow’s record bag.
“Caramel” leads the single with its live dusty breakbeat, spacey synth flourishes, rumbling bass line, and funky wah-wah guitar. The combination is captivating, serving as a superlative dance floor moment or a soundtrack to accompany some cool struttin’. ”Red Circles"" follows, owing a bit more to the influence of Urian’s father's band with its frenzied drum rhythm and chunky guitar, complemented by subtle, melodic bells and some atmospheric embellishments. These tracks make a solid duo of tunes, fitting right into our catalog…a nod to the past while looking towards a funky future.
2. Red Circles