Review: Ben Klock – One

Label: Ostgut Tonträger
Catalog#: OSTGUT CD 07

Tracklist:
1. Coney Island
2. Goodly Sin – feat. Elif Biçer
3. Check For Pulse
4. Underneath
5. Gloaming
6. Init One
7. Cargo
8. OK – feat. Elif Biçer
9. In A While
10. Init Two
11. Gold Rush
12. Grip
13. Thirteen Rounds

Every day since I first read about Ben Klock’s debut album ‘One’, I’ve been extremely curious about how it would sound. Reading a interview with the man himself, where he states he didn’t want to make a entirely club oriented album, I got even more interested. I wondered how a resident DJ at Berghain would produce such a album, would it be techno tracks with no beats, just drones and ambient material?

Finally getting a listen to it, I was filled with all sorts of expectations and wondered how he actually managed to do what he said he wanted to do.

The thing is that all tracks on ‘One’ aren’t set for the club, but the same energy that Berghain has is transformed into something in-between club music and a unidentifiable atmosphere. Ben Klock has clearly put a lot of emotion into this album, a emotion that I’m certain he feels when he is playing at his residency, and that alone is a really remarkable achievement.

It’s hard to compare it to his previously released material, as it differs so much in so many ways from ‘One’, but since this album can speak for itself it isn’t necessary. The concept here was to create something different, which Klock most certainly managed to do.

Sound wise, the album has a very haunting structure. Dark pads and synths sparks off at the first track, merging different sounds and noises and continuing to excel even more with ‘Goodly Sin’ as the second track. Elif Biçer’s voice poisons the structure of the track, making the beat drown in it and adding to the dark flavour.

The album progresses slowly between different areas. In some tracks, such as ‘Underneath’, the beat is placed in the background with well produced subtle changes, a warm melody is introduced but has a haunting sound and adds up to the built up atmosphere and energy. The progression remains over the next three tracks until ‘OK’, also made with Elif Biçer’s vocals, which is for me together with ‘Gold Rush’, the best track of the album. Klock proves that he is absolutely certain of what he’s doing, creating a rough, industrial feeling but also not letting go of the haunted wall of sound – a good balance is created.

‘In A While’ would be the light of the album, creating a mystical Detroit techno influenced atmosphere – a beautiful piece with little reverbation and echoing going on, it fills your heart with warmth and is put at a perfect place on the album which leads on into a more dubstep influenced structure.

Reducing things into a core and more purist state, ‘Gold Rush’ introduces a much more raw side of Klock’s material. The last three tracks of the album is where all the highlight is, which I guess is not a accident.

The album is out sometime in February/March 2009, together with ‘Before One EP’ which features tracks in addition to ‘One’

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