Review: Part nine of ten in Ostgut Ton's tenth various artists compilation and they're pulling out the big guns now to celebrate proceedings with a big bang. Star resident Ben Klock has taken quite a long hiatus from production but he's still got it, as shown on the tunnelling and cyclical cut "Sirens". Fellow resident and Detroit ex-pat Ryan Elliott serves up the soulful and emotive "Smith Lake" which is brilliant and reminds us of Exos or "Dead Eye" era Baby Ford. Finally resident party animal Len Faki surprises many with the ambient mix of his undisputed anthem "Rainbow Delta" and it is absolutely sublime; you can just drift away to this one, you'll see!
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.
Review: Quite a number of techno fans will go weak at the knees when they spot this expansive collaboration between longtime friends and occasional studio partners Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock. It's their first combined release since 2013. Every one of the 7 tracks are full of high quality, atmospheric, late night techno workouts, from the creepy riffs and off-kilter drums of "Phantom Studies", and the horror-influenced post-dubstep shuffle of "The Room", to the raging, mind-altering dancefloor heaviness of "Bay Boy" and sparse, minimalist techno closer "The Tenant". Given their abilities as producers, we'd expect nothing less than superbly produced, club-ready cuts. Predictably, Phantom Studies delivers that in spades.
Review: You have to admire Ostgut Ton's ambition. While celebrating a decade in dance music with a compilation of exclusive, previously unheard music is now standard practice amongst leading underground labels, few would have the balls to release it with such a killer tracklisting as Zehn. Across the 30 tracks (count 'em!) you get a who's who of Berghain and Panorama Bar associates delivering a quite outstanding selection of left-of-centre techno and deep European house, with Marcel Dettmann, Boris, Virginia, Steffi, DVS1, Martyn, Tobias and Ben Klock all featuring. Highlights naturally come thick and fast, from the spacey electronics, heady textures and hypnotic rhythms of Function's "DX3 Analog Bass Seq", and the rush-inducing, string-laden house warmth of Matthew Styles' remix of Dinky's "Planes", to the picturesque intelligent techno of Doms & Deykers.