Review: Christian Wunsch is becoming as much of a formidable force as his fellow Spanish and Pole Group patriarch Oscar Mulero and close cohort Developer. Last year Pole Group released the debut album of Spanish duo Exium and now they move the spotlight over to Wunsch, who shines brightly from the first track onwards. The album is of course full of huge club productions like "Auger Electrons", "Ionized", "Graphene" and "Radioactive Decay" - but Wunsch delivers the type of techno in productions like "When The Process Is Expected", "Nuclear Transition" and "Fixed Fraction" that makes Internal Conversion more than just a heavy weight slab of booming DJ tools. One of the best releases to come from Pole Group yet.
Review: It's been a few years since Christian Wunsch last released on Polegroup, but Mutation shows that he has lost none of his potency. "Organic Molecules" is a dense, drum-heavy workout with little else than clicking, steely percussion joining the monstrous kicks. "Cosmic Radiation" is equally dense, with rickety slivers of percussion bouncing off a central bass and drum combination of concrete weight. By contrast, "Chemical Reactions" has a loose, almost organic rhythm, like the straightest, most clubby iteration of Cosmic / Lost Recordings. Finally, "Microorganisms" sounds like Wunsch has been listening to a lot of Mike Parker, with pneumatic bass and dark bleeps prevailing.
Review: Christian Wunsch, a veteran of revered imprints such as Pole Group, Sheep and Theory, now joins the ranks of Clergy. Fans of streamlined, heads-down techno will find much to love here: at the heart of this four-tracker are pounding, concrete-weight kicks that support additional elements, such as a filtered rave riff on "Brain Disorder". Similarly, "Dysfunctional" sees the Spanish producer add some mesmerising steely riffs, while on "Tearing You Apart", rabid electronic riffs are sprayed over a heads-down rhythm. While Abnormal Behaviour is not the most subtle release, it would be hard to find a better functional techno release.
Review: Spanish techno power clique Oscar Mulero, Reeko, Exium and Christian Wunsch load and fire part six of their Seleccion Natural series out of Mulero's Polegroup canon. The previous five blasts came from Reeko's Mental Disorder, Christian Wunsch's Tsunami Records and Mulero's native Warm Up Recordings. Reeko's "Lynx" is a hi-octane power-trip of scratchy industrialism and gunshot snares jacked with a ferocious pace, as is Mulero's "Reverberation" only to a more bleepy and streamlined effect, with obvious fidelity toward Surgeon, Regis and Jeff Mills. Had Wunsch's booming "Sleep Cell" not been released here, it could easily hold its own among the factory-made releases of Perc Trax. Exium proceed with break-beat drums in "No Sign Of Weakness" which aggressively lends itself to a trove of over-driven bass squelches, piston pushing white noise and a tribal ramshackle of percussion - cabalistic techno at it's most dangerous.
Review: Ranging from bone-crushing industrial rhythms to more serene tracks, The Structure is a diverse release, yet each contribution shares some characteristics. Oscar Mulero's "Sound Mirror" is built from dense drums and broken beats, but even at its most intense, with evil horn stabs seeking to conjure up the apocalypse, he allows some light in via deft filtering. Christian Wunsch's "Mutation" is a more straightforward techno track, albeit one that breaks down to the sound of eerie chords and haunting strings. Exium's "Repeating Future" appears to take inspiration from the spacey ambience of Pete Namlook before veering into a stop-start, understated rhythm, while Jose Pouj's "Structure" offers up panel-beating drums and wispy atmospherics.
Review: The only question that arises from this collaborative release is: why did it take so long? As this split release shows, Perc's label and Oscar Mulero's Pole Group share a lot of common ground, but the key difference is that the UK operation has an underlying grittiness. This is evident on the sweeping chords and grinding rhythms of Sawf's "Trivoli" and Perc's "405", the latter a stomping, slamming affair led by distorted kicks and a ferocious, militaristic rhythm. By contrast, the Pole Group material is more considered. Reeko's "Recharger" is a drummy affair led by a tapestry of hissing percussion, while Christian Wunsch's "Alpha Particle" is a deep space serving of alien, acid-led techno.
Review: Apart from boasting one of the best ever names for a series, the second in the Dead Architect Series sees a wide range of sounds represented. Christian Wunsch's "Tilmun" is a killer peak time affair, its distorted beats and metal bar riffs sounding like it came from a horrific dystopia. Datura Dilema's "Illuminance" is less abrasive but just as hypnotic, with heavy dub beats underpinning a rolling, hypnotic groove. Wunsch's other contribution, "Marduk", sees him opt for a more considered approach, as he delivers a stripped back, stepping rhythm. Rounding out the release is Rhomb's excellent "System C01d", an understated but hypnotic deep techno late night groove.
Review: Oscar Mulero's other label celebrates its fifth anniversary with this mammoth compendium. For fans of the Spanish imprint's club techno there is no shortage of material to get excited about; the Lewis Fautzi remix of Exium's "Nucleoid" is a hypnotic groove par excellence, its confluence of acid and droning pulses arcing to a tantalising climax, while Christian Wunsch and Exium once again represent the tough industrial and dub-meets-noise sound of the label on "Emission Lines" and "Biolag" respectively. However, there is also a more musical, reflective side to Poelgroup's sound. In this regard, 5 Years delivers most impressively with the chilling strings of the Architectural project from Reeko as well as the Spanish producer's cinematic, break beat-led reshape of Jonas Kopp's "M31".
Review: Oscar Mulero's label consistently puts out forward thinking techno - and this compilation is no exception. It may start with a surprise for some fans of the Spanish producer's broken beat sounds, with Reeko's "Miracle" delivering ghostly synths over a snaking bass line and Exium's "Mantra" featuring the kind of warbling trance melodies that one would associate with deep Detroit techno. Mulero's own "Tidal Acceleration" heralds a shift back towards more typical sounds as distorted, mangled drums support cold bleeps and a stepping rhythm, while Rolando drops a firing, percussive take on Exium's "Complex". Still, there is enough room for diversity as the skewed metallic rhythms and broken beats of Christian Wunsch's "Complete Surrender" demonstrate.
Review: Oscar Mulero's Pole Group closes out the year with a collection from some of techno's most respected producers. While the overall tone on Unknown Landscapes is dark and at times unsettling, it never strays into the plodding furrowed-brow seriousness that often besets contemporary techno. DVS1's "Strobe" sees the US DJ deliver churning chords over a grinding, metallic rhythm, while Reeko's "Enlightenment Process" shifts from pounding broken beats into a spacey, filtered segue. That's not to suggest that the label or its owner have gone soft either; the squelchy acid and stinging riffs of Jonas Kopp's "M31" is as intense as it gets, but at the same time, contributions from Adam X and Forward Strategy Group tingle and pulse in a dubby, fuzzy afterglow.
Review: Christian Wunsch offers up three distinctly different interpretations of techno for Oscar Mulero's label. "Planetary Alignment" is a dense, soaring groove, led by thundering claps but also containing half-heard, murmured vocals, as if Wunsch is trying to drop subliminal messages into the arrangement. "Seismic Waves" is more sinister with a pulsing bassline unravelling over a skipping rhythm and waves of lapping percussion, its repetition unflinching. Finally, "Pole Shifting" marks a more radical departure as a dubby groove underpins dreamy synths that intensify gradually, while at the same time the rhythm becomes more ponderous and introspective. Like Reeko, Wunsch is pushing the boundaries of techno and coming up with some stunning results.