Dark music for Dark Warehouses...
HEINRICHS & HIRTENFELLNER
CD (HIGHGRADE 062CD)
This is the debut full-length release on Highgrade
by Berlin-based Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner. The duo asked the question: "Is there life in outer space?" and were answered easily by the sound-universe that they created on Dark Orbit
. From the mesmerizing glitter of "Supernova," to the funky vocal cuts drifting through "Starry Fog," to the off-the-beaten-track explorations of "Hubble," this album maps out new galaxies and star systems of sound. "Quantum Jump" is a springboard to a parallel universe made out of pulsating bass and vocal sequences, echoing to us from the depths of space. The "Black Hole" in Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner's world works somehow backwards -- instead of eating energy, it spills all over -- making the impact of this track as powerful as a meteor storm. "Alpha Particle" sounds like a lunar probe on speed, while "My Gravitation" shows perfectly how to build massive club-hits from dreamy sequences. Despite all this journeying, Dark Orbit
never gets lost: it remains a fresh club album that always shows a subtle grasp of humor, weird sounds, and small oddities -- the perfection of the added human touch. The CD version also includes small interludes which serve as anchoring, central themes, like map-coordinates on a pleasant flight.
In Cars We Rust
This is the debut full-length release by Berlin duo Exercise One (Marco Freivogel and Ingo Gansera
). DJs know them as crafters of cracking tracks on wax. Clubbers around the world know them as an unstoppable live act. Now, prepare to meet another side of Exercise One. On In Cars We Rust
, the dancefloor stormers are still here, and the record's flow is guided by the same spirit of improvisation that drives their live sets. But the clubbier material is rounded out by sounds we've never heard from Exercise One before: gorgeous, enveloping ambient tracks; soundtrack-ready synthesizer ballads; even a kind of retro-futurist electro-pop. In Cars We Rust
is the studio product of their hands-on approach, as passages of spontaneous creation are edited, collaged and remixed into a strikingly varied, startlingly cohesive whole. "Circeo" comes on like dawn, with a rustle of percussion and muted horns giving way to slowly unfurling chords and gentle electro-acoustic chatter -- featuring Seth Josel
on guitar, it's an ambient palate-cleanser to prep you for the deep-listening experience to follow. The beats begin on "1994," which eases out of the intro with shimmering keys and a shimmying beat, nearly dissolving into bubbly echoes of Steve Reich.
"It Is Happening Again" features home-hewn breaks and a monster bass line courtesy of Jacopo Carreras
. "Trapdoor" cools off with a taut, undulating spiral of metallic percussion and oscillators. "The Drunken Tinman" is low-slung funk, skipping dry drum machines across a sludge-pool of charred, muddied bass and dubby chords. After that, "Good Kid" rouses with cinematic strings and a drunken piano line. "No News Today" features Argenis Brito
's distinctive vocals, and is the perfect fusion of electronic production with a classic pop sensibility. "Sleeper" boasts lush chords, diamond-tipped drums and spiraling oscillators. "What You Say" is a lean, mean percussive groover, and "Don't Slip" slows the tempo and loses itself in a field of freaky bleeps. The breathtaking finale "Just Not!" feels like an amalgam of all of Exercise One's deepest tendencies, as ropy bass lines, dissipating chords and intricate rhythms spin together into a hypnotic, pulsing whole.