Short Circuits 7 - By Volume

What is this life, why do we strive? Fast on a wheel, too fast to feel. One day, my love, this life will slow. Sam Brookes - One Day

Short Circuits 7

Tayyab visits Berlin (in his dreams), gets numbed by Wanda Group, and discovers Recondite for us. Author: on August 19, 2013
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Marcel Dettmann – Ride (Bleep, 2013)

Berghain, Berlin’s behemoth nightclub, is as famous as it is infamous, and Marcel Dettmann has been a resident DJ there for all fourteen years of its existence. With releases on the club’s in-house label, Ostgut Ton, as well as on his own and on others, Marcel Dettmann’s name has become synonymous with techno from the European continent, mostly due to his exceptional ability to spin records, but also for his precise productions.

Dettmann’s experience as a DJ likely to play a four hour set next to a one hour set heavily influences his productions by way of creative intent; his latest venture sees him land a release on Bleep’s ‘Green Series’, with “Ride”. It does what it says on the label. In typical straight-forward Dettmann fashion, “Ride” plummets onwards with minimal fanfare at maximum velocity. Snares and hi-hats are tuned to keep momentum flying through stuttering ambient obstacles, plunging well into the deep end. No, there’s not much else going on, nor is there a need for there to be. When it’s 4am and the lights are out, this is the adrenalin shot you’ll need.

ReconditeHermelin (Trolldans, 2013)

Trolldans is a newly-established label, with an aim to transcend the known world and take listeners somewhere otherworldly, by way of atmospheric, hypnotic soundscapes that balance subtlety, patience and steadfastness with moods to enthrall, excite and enhance listening experiences. Yeah, sounds predictable to me, too. Don’t be fooled, however; this label isn’t messing about. Its first release is an EP from Recondite, whose tech house records have manifested on the likes of Scuba’s Hotflush imprint. “Hermelin” is the first track from the Waldluft EP, and certainly embodies the label’s ideals. Bass adds vitality to pensive pulsations that create an environment in which listeners are free to explore the depths of their own selves, with a reverb-heavy melody that ticks and ticks until the booming kick shakes everything awake again. The track grows and grows without ever coming across as overbearing, or overstaying its welcome. There’s something oddly enticing about “Hermelin”, and with a remix from Skudge on the flip, Trolldans’  first move is a serious one.

David AugustForgive Me If I Bleed (Diynamic, 2013)

“Forgive Me If I Bleed” rounds off David August’s debut long-player on Hamburg-based, Solomun-co-founded Diynamic Music. Interestingly, it doesn’t hang around house, instead meshing classical with downtempo and trip-hop. The pressing bass is the track’s strongest asset, wandering through many strange samples that mimic field recordings. Rolling keys tick the track over, playing with choir cuts before more intimate vocal snippets are prepared. It all climaxes at a mournful synth lead supported by cinematic strings, though there’s little time to breathe after, as it draws to an end somewhat abruptly. The song comes across as if August put plenty of thought into it, but I wonder if there was perhaps too much thought, and too little feeling. As sultry as the song is, the focus on rigour takes away from the organic aspects, as the tune shadows productions of the likes of Jaar or Bonobo somewhat soullessly. Implied by its namesake, the track is aware of its imperfections. Regardless, it’s undeniably a promising piece of music.

DJ Die & Addison Groove Morro Dub Dende (Unreleased, 2013)

This collaboration from Bristolian junglist legend DJ Die and the Swamp81/50WEAPONS regular Addison Groove goes unreleased, only existing as a snippet on SoundCloud and in full 240p glory on YouTube, but for a few DJs who hold a playable version. I can’t remember if it was Breach or Detroit Swindle who played this when I heard it a couple of months ago (edit: turns out it was Breach); all I really remember is going ape, and I’m not sure how anyone would manage not to. Created to spread word with regards to unrest and violence in Brazil related to the drug trade, the track samples an immediately infections vocal in the style of kuduro. It’s thrown down over the most frenetic fringes of juke, before being relentless dismembered and served up with exotic percussion that hits from all sides. Winding and swinging with astonishing abandon, the tune rushes with the kinetics of river rapids before closing out with gun-cock samples and a scream of “DJ!” Can we get a reload?

Wanda GroupWe Held Our Balance (Where To Now?, 2013)

Wanda Group is the current culmination of all of Louis Johnstone’s efforts under various monikers, breaking out on the Opal Tapes label with Piss Fell Out Like Sunlight last year. “We Held Our Balance” is the first half of a release written in tribute to Johnstone’s father and grandfather, incorporating numerous movements that interact in the subtlest of ways yet retain spirit and fluidity, like an alignment of microcosms. An injection of hi-frequency seeps through the entire piece, isolating the listener from their environment before laying down the foundations of a new one, with numbing ambience tinged with field recordings. Thuds from the deep dominate briefly before disappearing entirely, while intriguing samples approach, pass, and depart from the experience. Transitions between themes are seamless and invigorating, coaxing reflection and unhindered thought. At times, the track is as light as air while there are moments where the weight of the sound presses itself against the listener to ensure a paralysing, as well as psychotropic listen.

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  • Olivier

    Recondite delivers as always. Massive EP, very Pantha Du Prince-esque. Certainly one of this year’s best. Love the artwork as well.

    The Dettmann track is gold also. The Bleep series is definitely recommendable to follow. Best one in the series is still the first one, with the banging Karenn track.

    Nice work, Tayyab. Certainly continue doing these!


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