Extrawelt rose to prominence during the Kompakt trance boom, but to expect their latest album to merely contain storming, melodic club tunes would do the German duo a disservice. Naturally, there are moments on In Aufruhr where melodic techno reigns, like the epic hooks and fragile rhythms of "Schlusslicht" or the meaner, woozy synths of "Division Dunkel". But of greater interest are the contributions where Extrawelt push the sonic envelope further. "Herz Aus Blech", with its mixture of buzz-saw bass and subtle ivory tinkling, is one such example, while "Die Welt Ist Nicht Genug" and "Dumb Age" see them diversify into stepping, dubby rhythms with resonating sub-bass and shanty effects to the fore.
Has melodic German techno found an unlikely new creative muse - Detroit electro? On Raum, the latest release by Extrawelt, aka Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe, this would appear to be the case. While the title track features a rolling, warbling bass and the tantalising melodies that veer from the dark into the dreamy, there is a different dynamic at play on "Herz Aus Blech". There, shuffling 808s and gurgling acid basslines provide the basis for the duo's crystalline melodies to soar and shine. There's a similar approach on "Zeitfuge", where a stripped back rhythm track supports a bouncy electro bassline. Nano Boogie's abstract take on "Zeitfuge" completes this unpredictable release.
For the most part, there are no surprises on Vorsprung Durch Hectik, with German duo Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe delivering more of their trademark, throbbing bass-led melodic techno. "Yummy Unbroken" is very much rooted in this sound, its pulsating bassline underpinning crystalline synth hooks. "Wasteland" plays looser with the rules and its growling subs underpin synths with a more electronic and less trancey feeling. However, it's the title track where the duo makes a break with their conventions. Powered by a rattling, shaking rhythm, its chords shine and glisten majestically from beneath a predatory bass that is more Suburban Knight than MANDY.
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