German techno continues in its ascetic, high-concept journey through the academics of sound with little regard for the fun-oriented music that has been getting so popular over here. Sure, there’s something more crass about the American DJ sets for the Fabric series, but more and more when you hear a straight-ahead post-minimal compilation such as Movement you get the impression of a self-insulated mind, purposefully cut off from everything. In this rarefied atmosphere, music resists even the space-disco minimalism of Lindstrom. Sounds are more varied than traditional minimalism dictates—German music has, generally, moved away from the movement’s aggressively stripped-back sound—but each of the discs in this collection resists the natural peaks and troughs of a popular DJ set. If there’s any crossover to be traced, it’s the emergence of harder-edged synths: both Eyerer (with Electrochemie LK’s “Mucky Star”) and Klein (with Matthas Tanzmann’s “Nip Slip”) include tracks with an easy familiarity to electro’s layered sleaze. Moving beyond the now well-known single “Tiflis”, together Eyerer and Klein contribute two other songs (both appear on Eyerer’s disc). “Chorizo” is most compelling, a harsh synth/outer space theme with the confidence to exist, repeating with ultra-minimal, shifting changes. Oliver Klein’s set is a little harder, occasionally dipping into the heavy bass beats of deep house; but the mixes are two sides of a single coin, and represent the desired aesthetic with a neat (if not super emotional) professionalism. This is music that is singular in vision, and by this measure effective: you may not jump around like a bandit when listening to Movement, but it will surely transport you to some stranger, potentially more compelling place.
// Notes from the Road
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