Lars "Anstam" Stoewe has long been part of Modeselektor's extended family of artists, releasing his first two albums on their 50 Weapons label. While those first two sets were characterized by a desire to blend punishing dancefloor rhytms with elements of IDM and dark ambience, Names - his third LP - is a largely more considered affair, with shards of light amongst the gathering gloom. Of course, he's not totally abandoned the skittering rhythms and maudlin basslines - see the sweeping chords and intense beats of "I Stopped Counting" and the rushing post-dubstep blast of "Fragments of the Good Old Days" - but these moments are countered by hazy songs and sweet soundscapes, with the superb "The Obvious & The Impeccable" standing out.
Talk about going out in style. Modeselektor's label's prolonged death continues in style with two ex-cellent tracks from Germany's finest experimentalists. Lars 'Anstam' Stoewe has been a regular on the label since 2011, and this latest effort is one of his finest recordings for 50 Weapons. Clocking in at ten minutes, "Dolores" is a teased out groove that resonates to creepy wind chimes and ponder-ous, heavy bass, creating a chilling, atmospheric effect. It couldn't be further removed than some of the clubby releases on the label. Then it's the turn of Robert Henke. One of the architects of modern techno as Monolake, "VT 100" is all splurging, corrosive bass, twitchy drums and insistent, nagging percussion. It's a fitting swan song, but not, one suspects the last we'll hear from this label.