[9 December 2008]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
Following in the sizable footsteps of Trentemøller, Hamburg’s Extrawelt delivers with its debut a smooth collection of bloops and found-sound heavy dancefloor pre-approved electronic approximately in the minimal techno vein. Originally, the duo of Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe envisioned their full length over a two-year span to cover a smidgen of all electronic genres, but they felt unsure about the 25 odd tracks assembled for this purpose. Instead, 4/4 beats appear in all but one cut, and yet, you might not notice that on a first listen.
Every track approaches the aim of dance-ability in such a distinctive manner, it is easy to forget this is techno. “Must Attack” is the best example of this point. It starts what sounds like a broken beat, bolstered by a heavily filtered chime and a little cheap drum machine, among other things, eventually leading to a subtractive build-up cast forwards by a distant military snare, an almost reggae like organ, and rain. When the drum and bass style subbase kicks in at minute three, it’s enough to take your head off. Any crowd subjected to this will be too busy going nuts to care what genre classification it falls into today. It’s a brutally awesome cut and the rest of the album is as or just about as nasty. To be sure, Schöne Neue Extrawelt is easily one of the year’s best.