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10 May 10
Review: Berlin's Berghain / Panoramabar is now one of, if not the most infamous club in the world. Although spending the entire of this review discussing the club would not even begin to scratch the surface of its impact on clubbing culture, this release is about its label offshoot, Ostgut Ton. Andre Galluzzi (one of the club's residents) set the imprint on its way in 2005 with his pivotal, dark and edgy Berghain 01 compilation. Five years later, the German returns to the label for the first time to deliver a two tracker of cutting edge, percussive techno. Joined by close colleague, Dana Ruh, the pair dive deep into dizzyingly hypnotic territories to bring a slice of the notorious club?s dancefloor to record. Dana, who runs the Broquade platform, highly respected for exploring elegant sound inclinations, is already poised for further collaborations with Galluzzi.
The title track is an understated cut whose attitude and personality lies within the strength of insistent drum patterns, long rolling arrangements and its straight forward approach to the task at hand. Flourishing relentlessly forward, fluttering, tribal-like vocal utterances smear the top layer of sound, adding to the exotic and mysterious vibe. On the flip, "Mauersegler" continues the highly percussive journey but delves deeper into wild terrain, carving itself out a much more urgent path. Tripping delay effects and soft voice manipulations drag the listener further down into this undulating slice of next wave minimalism. Lost in a spinning world of drums and deep grooves, spell-bound listeners are reminded once more what Galluzzi, and his resident Berlin club for that matter, can do to even the most fortified minds.
26 Mar 12
Review: One of the many oddities in the English language is the array of collective nouns to describe the word "group". Sam Barker and Andreas Baumecker's second missive for German techno juggernaut Ostgut Ton "A Murder Of Crows" is one such example. "Part 1" opens with a cavernous four-four groove similar to Tommy Four Seven's 2009 Man Like Me remake. White hot snares and rattling percussion fizz to a heady climax enveloped by a throbbing slug of a bass line. Piercing 909 hats, Marcel Fengler thwacks and demonic synths add to the furore. The dank and techy basement beats of "Part 2" align itself with something you would expect from Untold or Hessle Audio, not German techno. Barker & Baumecker's booming kicks, nerdy percussion and ravey synth wobbles distance Ostgut Ton from the concrete and Berghain-centric sound synonymous with the label.
28 Jan 13
Played by: Paul Mac, Pagalve, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Juno Recommends Techno, Pan-Pot, Deetron, Resident Advisor, Tom Dicicco
Review: Machinedrum, Blawan, the collaborative Third Side project and new name Kobosil remix tracks from Barker & Baumecker's brilliant debut LP Transsektoral. Up first is Machinedrum, who replaces the broken beats of "No Body" with a bassy four-to-the- floor hum-drum, starry synths and a compatible resonance that successfully maintains Barker & Baumecker's previous garage vibe, and upstart Kobosil removes any melodious element from the original "Silo" and reworks the drums suitably for peak time Berghain action. Blawan's re-command of "Crows" sees ritualistic drums swagger clumsily in and out of time to orc war-horns that sound like they're rung in the midst of battle, while Third Side then turns "Schlang Bang" inside out by buckling down on a single looped-up sample. Sometimes remix additions can be a little underwhelming, this ain't one of them.
OSTGUT CD 22
10 Sep 12
Review: The debut album from Barker & Baumecker has been a long time in the making, but its timing couldn't be better. With techno at a point of divergence, as producers like Untold and Blawan make the move from the UK end of the bass spectrum into straighter 4/4 fare, Transsektoral seems to offer a Berlin perspective on the same theme. Although the stark, often dramatic atmosphere is that of an Ostgut Ton record through and through, the whole thing is peppered with broken rhythms and lurching bass (see "Crows"), and even some inventive R&B sampling reminiscent of the Tri Angle family. Of course it also makes its concessions to the Berghain purists with the spluttering, acid toothed techno of "Trafo" and "Silo", or the relentless "Buttcracker" but all things considered, this is one of the most vital albums Ostgut Ton have released since The Traveller - which is high praise indeed.
05 Oct 09
OSTGUT TON 19
12 Feb 09
22 Nov 10
Played by: Itokim, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Veztax, S-Tek (Gynoid, Audiolabor, Berlin), Shadow Dancer, Mirko S., Heaven To Hell Records, James Ruskin, Luke Slater, Mattias Fridell, Frenkie V, Daniel Deluxxe Aka D.i.c.e, Dadub
Review: Long associated with the harder side of techno - on the evidence of his recent mix and pretty much any of his longer club sets, unfairly so - this release sees Berghain Ben Klock attempt to show a more musical flavour. The first version of the title track sees airy, spacey Detroit chords copper-fastened to a typically dense Klock drum pattern, with both seemingly disparate elements acting in unison to create a climax that’s as epic as Berghain’s Gotham City architecture. A similar approach applies on the second version: it features the same snappy drums and crackling percussion underpinning Klock’s previously undocumented lush leanings, but despite this, it would be wrong to assume that it’s merely a continuation of the first version. Tellingly, there are also dark, droning tones and hints of the ruthlessly utilitarian approach of his colleague, Marcel Dettmann - and these nuances are also audible on the third and final track, "Static Test". Although there is a building chord sequence, it sounds like a distraction to the main event - a rolling, functional techno rhythm, powered by whiplash percussion and an underlying hint of menace. Top release.
24 Aug 09
Played by: Paul Mac, Valerio M, Krl, Shadow Dancer, Fer Br, Subotika Motech Records, Orlando Voorn, Juno Download, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Nihil Young, Dominik Eulberg, Josh Wink, Axer Rouf, Samuel L Session, Groove Magazine, Igness, Marcel Fengler, Gregor Tresher, Rodriguez Jr, Cottam, Joel Alter, Tiga, Perc, Kai Acid, Daft Punk
09 Mar 09
26 Apr 10
Review: Marcel Dettmann drops one of the most anticipated albums of 2010, with his eponymous debut on Ostgut Ton. And it's everything you'd hope for (and expect) from a Berghain resident: dark, cavernous, atmospheric - utterly brilliant. The highlights are numerous, from the thunderous, atmospheric electrical storm that is "Argon" to the Basic Channel-esque hiss and crackle of "Drawing" and the looped percussion on "Reticie" that sounds like Dettmann has been dragging a bag of marbles around one of the unused rooms at Berghain. Techno, welcome to 2010.
26 Nov 07
02 Jun 09
04 Apr 11
Played by: Doubtingthomas (Lesizmo:r/Igloo)
Review: The German-Chilean producer and the label arm of techno Valhalla Berghain seem like uneasy bedfellows, so does signing Dinky herald a new direction for Ostgut? On the evidence of "Take Me", it does. The title track starts with breathy chords and loose, organic drums, before giving way to jazzy, filtered riffs and then moves into an undulating electronic disco groove. "Polvo" is of a similar summery disposition: filled with sensuous vocal samples and sassy Rhodes keys, it is underpinned by the same kind of loose beats as the title track. It's far removed from the world of chisel-jawed techno and suggests that Ostgut may be mellowing out.
26 Apr 09
Played by: Gus Brown, Kube 72, Kr!z (Token Records), John Karagiannis &paylipservice, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Shadow Dancer, Advanced Human (Aka. DJ Hi-Shock), Alkalino, Juno Recommends Techno, John Dalagelis, Laura Heath, Billy Nasty, Decibel Flekx, Enclave, Chris Liebing, Juno Download, Tobias Lenz
15 May 13
Played by: Resident Advisor
22 Mar 13
04 Mar 13
Played by: Paul Mac, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Juno Recommends Techno, Enclave, Victor Martinez, Submerge, Resident Advisor, Marc Romboy, Jt86
Review: It seems incredible to think that despite his nearly 20 years of production experience, Dave Sumner hasn't released a full Function album until now. Thankfully Incubation proves it's been well worth the wait with the Sandwell District member really stretching his legs out for one of those techno albums that is most definitely an album experience. This nine track set bristles with great ideas and murky atmospherics, combining dystopian sci-fi soundtrack textures with the precision techno he's become known for. There are robust dancefloor tracks - see the murky acid techno of "Against The Wall" and sweaty "Modifier" - but also moments of intense, melodic beauty, from the crystalline bliss of "Counterpoint", to the dreamy hypnotism of "Inter (album version)".
28 Jun 10
19 Jul 10
02 Aug 10
25 Feb 13
Review: Len Faki is no stranger to Ostgut Ton having mixed the label's third and possibly hardest sounding Berghain CD back in 2009. Whilst the Berlin fixture has remained resolutely busy since then, Faki has remained absent from the OSTGUT catalogue numbers. Basement Trax Vol 1 signals Faki's return to Ostgut colours in impressive and diverse fashion. Lead track "Btx1" is dominated by the heavily processed treatment of some orgasmic sounding female vocals submerged deep in the mix and smeared greedily across the channels chased by whipcracking percussion. The flipside accompaniment "Btx2" is a tougher version with the tribalistic percussion gradually consumed by the vastness of Faki's string arrangements, while the final version "Btx3" sees Faki present a swirling mass of ambient calm. How good would it be to hear this at 2pm on a Sunday in Berghain?
04 May 09
19 Oct 09
08 Mar 10
26 Nov 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Jamie Behan (Bastardo Electrico), Aka Tell (A.g.trio), Boriqua Tribez, Ben Klock, Submerge, Philippe Petit (Knotweed/Dmt), Resident Advisor, Electric Rescue, Marc Romboy, Bruno Sacco (Gravite Records), Forest Echo One, Jt86, Alonso Varela, Kryptic Minds, Carl Craig, Ctrls, Tale Of Us
Review: Marcel Dettmann returns with yet another EP full of dusty atmospherics and brooding minimalism. The dark synth line of "Range" wallows around sketchy percussion and filtered pulsations while the density of "Islo" ups the energy in a hectic mess of Dadub-esque drum patterns. Machine gun snares strafe the Berghain-y kicks of "Push" as otherworldly vocals breath pitched down variations of the track's title. "Allies" is Dettmann's take on party techno, but tailored entirely for flinty concretions and sturdy pylons - an absolute Berghain classic.
19 Sep 11
Played by: Paul Mac, Vegim, Domenic Cappello, Diarmaid O Meara, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Juno Recommends Techno, Juno Recommends Leftfield, Jamie Behan (Bastardo Electrico), Enclave, Moody B, Alex Mayer, Giovanni Pasquariello, Cosmin Trg
Review: Dettmann's latest EP may refer to lingustics in its title, but there is no danger that what the Berghain resident wants to achieve will get lost in translation. With the exception of the spacey soundtrack and "Apollo" samples on "Barrier", this release is all about dance floor functionality and is as stark as the imposing architecture in the club he built his reputation on. That said, "Planning" owes a great debt to Robert Hood's visceral minimalism, as Dettmann sprays shards of percussion over jarring beats. The same incessant percussive approach is audible on "Translation One", but in this instance, it's the basis for a stab-heavy, filtered rhythm. Finally, Dettmann plays tribute to a Berlin artist on "Translation Two", with its spaced out but cold bleeps reminiscent of vintage Sleeparchive.
29 Aug 11
Review: Reactions to the news that Marcel Fengler was going to mix Berghain 05 focused on the fact that he is the club's most overlooked resident. This is to do Fengler a disservice and to understand the club in the narrowest context possible. If anything, the trajectory Fengler follows here defines the broad brush strokes played out in the Berlin club. There's the eerie intro which moves from Dettmann's vocal version of Emika's "Count Backwards" into Peter Van Hoesen's spacey, bleeping "Axis Mundi". Classic sounds always form an integral part of Fengler's approach and this is evident on Octogen's widescreen yet menacing electro reshape of Terrence Dixon, the wiry 90s minimalism of Ratio and in the alternate version of Secret Cinema's chord-heavy early 90s classic "Timeless Altitude". In between these sounds, Fengler proves his technical prowess, moving effortlessly from the drones and broken beats of Dr Walker's take on Byteone and the Regis version of Tommy Four Seven's "G" into straighter, albeit bass-heavy techno and house from Duplex - remixing Gerd- and LB Dub Corp, who delivers a new, multi-layered take on Fengler's own "Thwack". Put simply, Fengler has that rare talent that most DJs lack - he can put together seemingly disparate tracks without losing the flow. The club he resides at provides Fengler with a blank canvas and this mix is his masterpiece.
08 Oct 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Juno Recommends Techno, Tocadisco, Hannah Wild, Resident Advisor, Lutzenkirchen, Forest Echo One, Sven Vath
Review: There are two defining aspects to Marcel Fengler; firstly he retains a more humble profile to his more celebrated fellow Berghain residents Klock and Dettmann, and secondly original material from Fengler may be an infrequent proposition, but it's almost always worthy of your attention. This latter aspect is certainly true of the three track Frantic EP, a worthy return to Ostgut Ton, following last year's Berghain O5 mix and a clutch of notable EPs. Commencing with the title track, Fengler draws on a canny complement of insistent loops and sumptuous synth arrangements, while the rugged drum patterns make "Frantic" seem all too appropriate a title. Do check the alien techno funk of "6 In A Row", a track which masterfully swings between the thick groove and fast fingered smears of neon synths, while the glistening beauty of "Mosaique" offers some nice contrast to the previous onslaught.
25 Aug 09
22 Oct 12
Review: This sampler from Norman Nodge's new mix CD shows that the Berghain resident spends a lot of time searching out music that no one else has. The upshot of his approach is that Nodge creates a mood like no one else. From the mix opener, the grayscale ambience of Birds Two Cage's "Gase", through the menacing builds of Mark Broom's "Vault 5" to newcomer Patrick Graser's "From Foreign Territories" - an insistent, bleep-heavy groove to rival Sleeparchive at his most austere - this taster release proves that when it comes to setting a menacing, spooky tone, no one can match Norman Nodge.
14 Jun 10
14 Jun 10
Review: Martyn and Roman Lindau are first up on this series of EPs to coincide with Ben Klock's impressive Berghain 04 mix, and it's a must have for fans of deep techno steppers. "Miniluv" sees Martyn delve into the traditional rhythms of 4/4, with an infectious chime groove sounding out over a shuffling etheral techno beat as lasers shoot out from the depths of the prodduction. Roman Lindau gets all moody on us with the industrial "Keppra" the subtle patter of pads barely audible below the shuddering growl of the bass line. One of the best releases so far this year.
20 Jun 11
Review: Nick Hoppner is one of the key figures in the Ostgut operation, but isn't noted for putting out a lot of music. Clearly favouring quality over an excessive release schedule, the former MyMy member draws on the classic sounds of house and techno for Peck. The title track is the more current sounding, its heavy drum shuffled accompanied by weighty claps, a soft-focus filter and a lost 'aaaah' vocal sample. "She Parked Herself " is a totally different proposition; featuring the kind of emotional strings that featured on classic progressive house records by artists like Jaco and Slam, while its plunging bassline and rattling snares sound like the deep house of 90s producers like Jamie Read. "Swivel Flick" meanwhile is less derivative but also makes a play of that era's propensity for atmospheric pads and resonating bass riffs.
22 Mar 10
07 Mar 11
Played by: Guy Gerber
Review: Who knew? Given his track record of making grainy, Mills-inspired techno, it's fair to say that the latest release by Berghain resident Norman Nodge ploughs an unpredictable furrow. The cold bleeps and grainy robo-rhythms of "Body 2 Body" reveal Nodge's previously undocumented interest in ebm and Belgian New Beat. The title track also maps out new possibilities for Nodge with eerie synths combined with stop-start rhyhtms, casting him as Ostgut's weirder answer to the Hacker. However, there is a link to Nodge's usual sound and the abstract minimalism of "Break Down" bears more than a passing resemblance to his last release on MDR.