Ben Klock – DGTL Amsterdam
Who would have thought that Ben Klock would drop a set under 130 BPM? Repping the Resident Advisor booth at this year’s DGTL Amsterdam, the Berghain resident delivers a masterful ‘House Set’. DGTL has spread its wings to deliver finely curated festivals under its branding in places such as Barcelona, Madrid, Sao Paolo, Tel Aviv and as far west as Santiago, Chile. DGTL is known for its cutting-edge ability to blend Music with the Arts. This year’s installation collaboration with Ace & Tate is proof. Seeing as Klock himself is also renowned for his amalgamation of live production and music, as seen in his Photon parties, the set he provides here is one for the ages.
Though it’s been labelled as a ‘House’ set, it can be more accurately described as diluted Techno. Ringing up the curtain with a dark tense beginning, the magician DJ seems to lock a chastening groove over the dancefloor. Dropping Marco Shuttle’s ‘The Moon Chant‘, the Berliner follows up with cuts from the stellar New York label L.I.E.S., as well as Mandingos ‘Another Dub On Earth‘. Succeeding comes DJ Hell’s drum-focused 1998 classic ‘Jack The House’, a nasty malapert track that will send the most rigid of dancers into lunacy. Laying down full on breaks near the half way mark, things go full alien EBM on the Identified Patient’s ‘The Female Medical College Of Pennsylvania‘. Close to the wrap up Klock goes full Berghain mode with Biemsix’s ‘Clear‘ serving some sublime Dub Techno. The German veteran then finishes off with Kevin Yost’s irrepressible, time-transcending track ‘It’s Getting Bigger‘. For those familiar with the Techno titan, the set may feel more flaxen than his usual raucous sound. We see this is a testament to Klock’s savoir faire.
Marcel Dettmann – Vertigo (Wincent Kunth Remix)
Our first introduction to Marcel Dettmann came in the form of his 2008 seminal mixtape, Berghain 02. A business card of sorts that presented a snapshot of Klubnacht, showing that whoever turns up will be left in a state of obsequiousness. Featuring an unreleased T++ cut as well as bangers like Risque Rhythm Team’s ‘The Jacking Zone‘, Shed’s ‘Warped Mind‘ and Tadeo’s ‘4‘, the mix rubber-stamped Dettmann’s fabled status in the underground scene. Not long after an album followed, released by Ogstut Ton. In conversation with The Quietus Dettmann mentions his love for EBM and all styles of electronic music, which is seeped into his debut LP. On the remix package, however, were 4 tracks, paying homage to originals that never reached the record store shelves. Two coming from his good friend Norman Nodge, two by the mysterious Wincent Kunth. With his bio on the MDR Records webpage being just a photo, you won’t find much else about him apart from learning that the producer hails Switzerland, and is a close associate of Dettmann. Being more elusive than a post-Communist era Yugoslavian leader wanted for war crimes, Kunth’s remix of ‘Vertigo’ let’s the music speak on his behalf.
Wincent so far has only released a four tracker on MDR named MDR 08. The beautiful ‘Relove (Edit)‘ one of four gems distilling a crystalline synth stab over a dubby bassline. Apart from that, Kunth’s catalogue comprises of unreleased tracks for Dettmann and Ben Klock’s Fabric mixes, as well as a collaboration with Dettmann for his DJ Kicks mix. Tense and atmospheric, they all diverge with no two tracks sounding alike. Boomkat describes Vertigo being ‘driven by lushly hypnotic bass sequences and etched with alleviated Detroit synthlines’. That word hypnotic most adequately describes all of Wincent’s cuts to date. His ‘Vertigo’ interpretation kicks off with a thudding sub bass glittered with assuage, rasping percussion over the top. Crafted with precision for for a mix in. Morbid and defiant, the rhythm of the added bassline to put simply is engrossing. It perfectly reflects the sullen glum nature of the EPs picture of the moon’s surface. Synthlines that billow like laboratory steam preluding the emergence of bio-hacked creature, limber ever so slowly. The end result is grim stuff. With the runtime being shy of 6 minutes, yes the track is a tool at best, but certainly one that’s abstruse. Continue reading
Yan Cook – Noisey Neighbours
My fellow Aussie mate upon having a sterling, energetic night out would often state that he’s feeling ‘cooked.’ Ironically, the chap being reviewed here runs a label called Cooked Records. And it’s probably because listening to any of his famed, finely-tuned Built-for-Berghain bangers leave punters feeling the same way my mate felt. Ukrainian Yan Cook delivers yet another belter with this fine release on Scottish techno legend Slam’s Soma Records. A 2018 release, ‘Noisy Neighbours’ certainly lives up to its name. Extending his production line to labels such as ARTS & Delsin, the man is just as adapt at slower cuts like ‘Plot‘ or his remix of Heiko Laux’s ‘Neutron’. This packs so much dynamite it’ll break the resolve of even the most rigid slouches on the dancefloor.
Paul Ritch is a chief deliverer of such epic locked grooves, and this sounds reminiscent of his track ‘Pacemaker‘. A venomous Bass that’s focused yet slinky, it hovers in and out like a tunnel bore. The way it bounces back and forth just before the fourth bar makes it feel like the track is bounding forward. Raudive’s remix of Chrom’s ‘Cygnet Glacé’ is another proponent of such crafty tricks. Where Ritch used a skeletal approach, this is merely a foundation in the building. Rattling sonar soundscapes pulse, flexing the cerebral in the same way as Function’s ‘Disaffected‘ brings about that hurtling-through-space feeling. Eery recordings of evil alien like noises skirt across from left to right, adding atmosphere to a dystopian world that bathes in distant background sirens. Flickering hats come in and out before a sequence of modulated late 90s style hard trance stabs complete the picture. Continue reading
Luca Maniaci – Nebula (Vincent Hole Remix)
Nebulas are a reason why one could believe in God. Heavenly in aesthetic, the grandeur sweeping designs make one ponder whether there truly is a master creator beyond this. Delicate but all consuming on the outside, look further in and there’s much more that meets the eye. And that’s exactly what you get on Vincent Hole’s interpretation of this track. Released in 2017 on Luca Maniaci’s EP of the same name by Mind Games Recordings, it’s a bass driven belter. What makes it peerless however is the bleepy melody levitating over the top. A track that would’ve been a great addition to this titanic Sonar 2018 DJ Nobu B2B Ben Klock set.
There’s a time and place for everything. This cut’s time and place is reserved for the most exuberant peaktime only. It pummels in at a fathomable 131bpm like a raging bull on speed. Herculean bass attacks your ears on a double time beat. Instantly propelling the dancer into a rigidly locked groove. Just as a Nebula is chock full of dust, gas and other spectral substances, this track is full of Hats. The way the 3 intersect, all sounding distinctly different yet choreographed in unison, is remarkable. Continue reading