This unpredictable label drops another four tracks worth of oddball, left of centre grooves. "Tunsten" is all over the place, featuring out of time drums and sped up, grinding riffs climaxing to the sound of mangled fog horns, before it finally sinks into an acid bath. The title track is less disturbed, with a tripped out synth bouncing around the sparse, hollowed out rhythm. "Stac" sees Barnt remain in off the wall mode: this time the drums are dissected and reconstructed, underscoring a brooding bassline. Finally, "Tunsten (Melopella)" offers a more contemplative take on Barnt's sound, its mournful, edgy synths reminiscent of early electronic music.
Off the back that recent appearance for the illustrious Hinge Finger label run by Joy Orbison and Will Bankhead, techno deviant Barnt returns with a magnetic, and inimitably loose, EP for the imperceptible Holger imprint. We love the material that these guys put out, and this EP from Barnt feels like exactly the right territory for the label to explore. "A-Seite 1-5" opts for the beatless approach, immersing us into an open-world of minimalistic pads shifting and moulding into one another in a subtle sort of trance - excellent. The more representative Barnt flex comes through via "If She Says She Is a Healer, She Is A Healer", a cold, mesmerising techno bullet with a strange, twisted armoury of explorative synths recalling the Middle East. That's what it sounds like to us, anyway, but that's exactly what Barnt's music does; its vibe is ever-shifting, always in a state of flux and, of course, highly recommended.
Four very different interpretations of house music prevail on Power. First up is Geffen, whose dubby, staccato drums, bursts of percussive noise and ominous bass provide the backdrop for a series of frequency-shifting tonal blips. Danny F opts for a different path on "Chalole Batata", where a pulsing bassline and heavy drums steer the arrangement into an ethnic chanting break down. Christian S's contribution is tracky and designed specifically for DJs; centring on rolling, insistent drums and mangled filters, its crashing cymbals enhance its impetus. Finally, the trio of Philipp Gorbachev, Hugo Capablanca and La Muerte deliver the deranged vocals and noisy voodoo groove of "Berlan Esta Helado" - which sounds like vintage Chicken Lips on acid.
Kompakt's Michael Mayer and Magazine's Barnt (a couple of Cologne's finest) team up for some darkly sophisticated and contemplative house sounds on "Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen", a woozy and sombre sonic excursion with layers of dark strings that hypnotise you into submission atop of epic, near tribal style drum beats. Amsterdam's Patrice Baumel delivers a very futuristic remix; this is how you make a dark journey track right here! While in a surprise twist, Bristol bass-techno stalwart Kowton gets on board to deliver a pretty an impressive rendition that shows more restraint than what we're used to by him; quite a highlight actually.
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