Peter Grummich: Club Maria Berlin: Dirty Floor

Tim O'Neil

This is nothing but a mix of the baddest, most deliciously warped techno to spill from your speakers from quite some time.

Peter Grummich

Club Maria Berlin: Dirty Floor

Label: Shitkatapult
US Release Date: 2005-10-25
UK Release Date: 2005-10-31
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Man, just when you think the German techno scene has no more surprises for you, it thwacks you across the head with something like this. Shitkatapult is T. Raumschmiere's label, but if you're worried the first Shitkatapult mix compilation might be tainted by the sub-par punk that filled his most recent album, you can allay your fears. This is nothing but a mix of the baddest, most deliciously warped techno to spill from your speakers from quite some time.

Yeah, there's a dash of the minimal involved, but more to the point its also pretty damn crunk. Way more crunk than that last Kompakt compilation. If you don't believe that pasty German fellows can get hella crunk, well, I guess this is the disc for you. In six months, mark my words, this is going to be the sound of the next Ludacris single -- nothing but farting synthesizers and jiggling house beats.

In case you're wondering why the disc is named Maria, Maria just happens to be the name of the notorious Berlin club founded in 1998 as something of a remedy for the self-satisfied techno scene at the time. To give you an idea of the attitude involved here, the club and Shitkatapult collaborate for a yearly Shitparade -- I'm guessing they don't have a lot of time for the P.L.U.R. spirit of the Love Parade, then. Oh well.

Peter Grummich is the man behind the decks for Maria, and he brings the pain with a meticulously crafted set of straight-up funky robot jams. Beginning with the lurching, off-kilter menace of Deadbeat's appropriately- titled "Abu Ghraib", Grummich sets a jaunty, none-too-serious tone that nevertheless manages to maintain a serious momentum. From "Abu Ghraib" into Ark's "Fuites de Gaz", the mix slides upwards into a fuzzed-out electro mode, like a late-night mix show heard through veil of poor radio reception. Unsurprisingly, Grummich's own "The Animal (Das Tier)" reminds me of label boss T. Raumschmiere's herky-jerky stomp techno.

From there things get slightly more streamlined with John Starlight's "John's Addiction", a low-key house number that almost qualifies as acid based on its squeaky-farty 303 lines. Audion -- AKA Matthew Dear -- brings "Raw Dog", and as you might expect from the pedigree, it is very much microhouse, albeit with a bit more low-end thrust than one might expect from Dear's own material. Things get even more minimal with Audio Werner's "Zwrtshak Drive", a downright sleek bit of dubby microhouse than handily approximates the sensation of driving through the countryside in the middle of the night.

Justin Martin & Sammy D's "Swamp Thang" introduces an element of Basement Jaxx-esque variety, in the form of a hectic, kitchen-sink packed vibe that even manages to introduce slight jazz elements in the form of some Hammond noodling. Sergej Auto's "Yeehaw! Human Is Target" is, as the title suggest, just incurable fun -- the soundtrack to the inevitable robot apocalypse, complete with jazzy breakdowns.

The mix builds to a rather ferocious climax with Scapegoat's dense, anthemic "Anticipate", which builds from a retro video-game vibe into Dirk Leyers' stark, melancholy "New Serious One". The mix finally ends with James T. Cotton's "T.Y.O.C. Painkillers", an infectiously groovy bit of electro-trance that wraps the disc's vibe in something unexpectedly contemplative. As an evocation of the live DJ experience, Maria is a credit to Grummich's consummate skill, crafting a complete narrative arc through the many modern moods of funky techno.

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