Archive for April, 2010

Review: Skudge – Melodrama / Ontic

Label: Skudge Records
Catalog#: SKUDGE 002


A: Melodrama

B: Ontic

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Going for a more concrete direction, the ‘002’ from Skudge feels different from the first, creating an atmosphere that is subtle in a different way.

Kicking beats, haunting elements and a flow that is rare these days, ‘Melodrama’ keeps the pace with a lot of originality as well as the feeling from the ‘001’ – a knowing in the right sense. Small variations occour throughout, but they are very subtle and yet they seem to always present themselves in the right moment, which is even more clear on ‘Ontic’ featured on the B side. It’s hard to pin down what makes this record into what it is, it has so many different sides to it as well as a unique sound. Even though the structures of the tracks might be traditional in some sense, both of them feels as if they brought in something new – which is always appreciated.

‘Ontic’ is more of a deeper ride through the tunnels, where swirling percussion and a floating atmosphere binds the rhythm together – without losing track of itself and leaving the “dj tool” stamp far away. ‘Melodrama’ swings more steady, where the uncompromising beat tangles itself onto the vocal, creating a piece that seems essential today as well as in the future.

Review: Dettmann – Dettmann LP

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: OSTGUTLP05


A1: Quasi (Intro)
A2: Argon
A3: Screen
B1: Motive
B2: Drawing
C1: Reticle
C2: Irritant
D: Captivate
E1: Silex
E2: Home
F1: Viscous
F2: Taris (Outro)

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When collecting all inspiration that certain producers have, creating a certain demonstration of strength, a timeless yet at the same time defining “piece” is created. The most interesting aspect of it though, is that the sense of being pulled in the direction of the sound that fills up the release – especially when it’s collected in an album.

Marcel Dettmann is a producer that has been pushing this sound for a long time. Through the Berghain label Ostgut Ton, his own MDR label as well as remixes on a lot of different artists – maintaining a difference in the approach, sound and style, but at the same time always remaining true to his own quality of production as well as keeping this perticular sound intact. Filling up the empty space between going through records, otherwordly sounds and pumping tracks, his own material seems so natural when combining the thought of process behind the work of his own.

The emphasis is very uncompromising. It’s hard to truly define where it is in a concrete way, as “darkness” is clearly not enough to explain this album – there is so much to it, that is very parallell to what we have been hearing as well as his most recent tracks and remixes. Sure, a lot of focus is put on a dystopian sound, but the trained ear can clearly desinguish between those who try and those who know – Dettmann being one of the latter.

Surrounding the album is a lot of talk of “the Berghain sound”, where producers pursue perhaps their own impressions of it as well as attempts to follow it. What seems to be a result of this, is releases that feels as an empty shell with a hollowed space where the energy is “supposed” to be.

The ‘Dettmann’ release is clearly a blueprint of Marcel’s own interpretation of the club, people and music, as well as his personality and style taking up most of the productions – hence creating a release that feels almost too defining for it’s own good. At least, he created something that is honest, that will probably maintain this sound in a energetic and uncompromising way.

Thanks to Marcel Dettmann for this release.

Henrik Bergqvist & Johannes Björhn w/ Ståltrådsvägen #2

Fresh mix out of Henrik’s apartment – this time together with Johannes Björhn, a friend that works with us at The Office (as well as being a part of Head Office dj team).

With two turntables, a rotary mixer and a lot of vinyl, this session is dusty and powerful. Featuring aspects of their seperate sounds and style, combined, gives the mix a dynamic and fresh sound.

Review: A Guy Called Gerald – Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions

Label: Laboratory Instinct
Catalog#: LI017CD


01. People Moover
02. Nuvo Alfa
03. Flutter
04. Iland
05. Just Soul
06. The Dip
07. Round Eco
08. Dirty Trix
09. Wow Yheah
10. Indi Vibe
11. Pacific Samba
12. Conclusion F min Blue
13. Merfed

As the album title states, this latest output from A Guy Called Gerald fills up the more intellectual spectrum – a true spirit and a refreshing and original take on techno and surrounding sounds.

The most inspiring factor of this release, is that while maintaining an original sound, Gerald manages to shine through with the inspiration and energy that in common practice is more or less absent in straight up CD releases. Where a musical taste lifts every track into a new level, Gerald displays a knowledge not only sonically bound, but also knowing his way around the equipment he uses in a very solid way – the result is a combination of both perception and craftsmanship.

The mysterious and labyrinth-sense of every track makes it feel diverse and fun – rather than a straight up proper techno LP, which would seem only a bit strange if that was the case, Tronic Jazz feels strongly related to old tradition and style within the genre, rather than current explorations.

‘Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions’ is due in early May.

Thanks to Jonas at EPM for this release.

My favorite tracks:

Dirty Trix

Round Eco

Chart: April 2010