Awhile back I was so stereotypical of the genre and the people following, I am looking myself and laughing. I started with hardcore and old-school rap, continued with hardcore punk and sludge metal, then fusion jazz and again with grime and trip-hop to end up listening and falling in love with techno? Specially dub techno? It’s funny. But what’s funnier is how I can see at myself back with my closed mindset, and it’s sad that I can see people with it even today. And I understand them. To find a proper introduction to techno is harder than doing so for other genres because of the diversity the genre itself offers, the labels, the artists, the styles… Woah. It’s overwhelming. I mean if techno doesn’t come naturally, you’ll end up listening to very few good tunes, most of them being the YouTube hits which in most cases aren’t even 1% of what the genre has the potential to offer.
Today I’ll write a few words about one of my favourite techno releases, especially because it blends more styles, genres, and when you think about it – it’s a magical side in this sea of varieties.
Moritz von Oswald, the name behind this particular release. He and his partner in crime Mark Ernestus are virtually credited for inventing minimal techno, then going further to add the dub elements to the map of this genre.
Part of Rhythm & Sound, part of Tresor’s scene… I just can’t continue. There is too much to write about how much this man has influenced and done for this genre, so I’ll just continue with the release.
- Jam. Wow. The percussions blended with the spacious horns and electronics are something psychedelic, dark and mysterious, smoky. If there was a dark jazz club that only plays Bohren & Der Club of Gore, I wouldn’t go if they didn’t add this album to the release. Its darkness in another sense, but it’s there – it’s so dystopian and mysterious, yet grooving and going for much longer.
- Dark. The entry of this song shows why Moritz is seen as the king of dub techno. The track starts right away with this deep bassline with melodies echoing and matching with percussions. The hypnotic element in the repetition and horns very much in the depths of the background make this track one of my favourite for my own life, it just gets my need for melancholia and needs for losing myself in thoughts. It’s a meditation-approved one, especially for those deeper thoughts and decisions you have to do. At least for me, for those that I have to do.
- Club. I’d really love to live in a dystopian world, go into a club and just groove to this. The eleven-minute world creating monster continues to flow with the depths of the previous tracks, although a very groovy rhythm appears, hence the name, I guess. Even though it’s one of the simpler ones in terms of the rhythm section, it doesn’t set it to be less deserving to be in the release or anything that could be said that it isn’t the same quality as the other ones. On the contrary, for me, it is my favourite from the release. It’s dub techno in its purest and best form, the hypnotic element gradually moves you and relaxes with wild percussions surprising you and electronics just appearing and evolving in the background as you travel with the song.
- Yangissa. You are set into this tribal world, so many sounds around that you just don’t know what comes next. And bam! A few minutes later you are already at the next door but in the same building. This magic in techno can be done only by few and Oswald’s inputs here can be felt throughout with the dynamic evolving of the song. The African percussions alongside the electronics are what makes Fetch sounding like Fetch, a signature sound for this whole release that is so unique that makes this release one of my all-time favourites.
I’d like to say that jazzers would be especially fond of this, perhaps even more than techno people would. The long and kind-of lazy developments somewhere are known in both the electronic and jazz world, but it’s done more with a jazz kinda style: a gradual play between all the members producing sounds, ending to only reward the listener with this magical world of dystopian jazz techno darkness.