Review: Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe aka Extrawelt follow last year's Unknown album on Cocoon with this killer EP for Kompakt's sub-label. In keeping with their trademark sound, both tracks on Speicher 110 are gritty and distinctive. "Pink Panzer" centres on a low-slung groove and dusty drums that provide the backdrop for searing, building electronic riffs. "Argonaut" is more pacy; the duo drop a bruising, stepping rhythm that's powered by a thundering bass and populated by wild, unpredictable acid lines. Both tracks underline Extrawelt's unique approach to electronic dance music and their appeal to a wide range of DJs.
Review: Unknown is Extrawelt's fourth artist album and sees the pairing of Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe try something different. It's clear from the vocodered vocals and Italo-inspired melodies of "We Are Asteroid!" that the pair have gone down a new route. This becomes more evident on the atmospheric electro of "Fischmarkt On Acid" and the somewhat more abstract 808 shuffle of "Ausloser". While fans of the German duo's trance-influenced techno may balk at the direction that Unknown takes, this is an assured, innovative album. As the pulsating bass and magnificent synth sweeps of "Ort Und Impuls" show, Extrawelt's dive into the unknown is to be welcomed.
Review: German duo Extrawelt are back on the scene. Comprised of Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe, the Hamburg based duo have long been a fixture on the esteemed Cocoon Recordings since their debut over a decade ago. Their very first release was on Border Community, shortly after being discovered by boss James Holden. In addition, they have had regular releases on labels like Traum and Darkroom Dubs. Fear Of An Extra Planet is their third album and don't be put off by the dubious title; it's a great album that covers a wide variety of moods and grooves. From the deep and slinky tech house of opener "Superposition", they further explore the harbour city 'minimal-electro' sound that homeboys like Stephan Bodzin and Oliver Huntemann put on the map - like on "Gott Ist Schrott" or "Gentle Venom". There's nefarious and seething dancefloor drama of the strobe-lit kind to be found on "Punch The Dragon" or the evocative closer "2084".
Fear Of An Extra Planet (Blackout) - (7:34) 123 BPM
Hail The Whale (original) - (5:00) 125 BPM
Review: Extrawelt aka Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe have come a long way since the neo-trance of early releases like Soopertrack, but the pair's association with Cocoon has been one of their constants over the past decade. This release signals the latest development in this relationship and is a taster for their third studio album on the label, due this month. "Fear Of An Extra Planet (Black Out)" shows that the German act has shaken off its trance associations; rather than shimmering melodies, they confront the listener with intense bleeps and a jacking rhythm. "Hail the Whale" has echoes of their past thanks to its robotic vocal and mysterious riffs, but the pulsating bass exudes techno menace.
Review: German minimal electro merchants Extrawelt return, presenting their newest offering on Los Angeles imprint Halocyan who have offered up great releases recently by Dave Angel and Hackman. "Breaking Bricks" has all the dark, dystopian and grinding aesthetics that have been the duo's trademark since the mid noughties, later contrasted by sublime melodies and euphoric pads and strings. "Splendid Nausea" is a more straight ahead affair; an adrenalised four to the floor groove with a tightly programmed rhythm and epic bassline modulations. Finally, German nu-gaze hero Ulrich Schnauss turns in a typically beautiful and ethereal viewpoint of the aforementioned "Breaking Bricks".
Review: For the most part, there are no surprises on Vorsprung Durch Hectik, with German duo Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe delivering more of their trademark, throbbing bass-led melodic techno. "Yummy Unbroken" is very much rooted in this sound, its pulsating bassline underpinning crystalline synth hooks. "Wasteland" plays looser with the rules and its growling subs underpin synths with a more electronic and less trancey feeling. However, it's the title track where the duo makes a break with their conventions. Powered by a rattling, shaking rhythm, its chords shine and glisten majestically from beneath a predatory bass that is more Suburban Knight than MANDY.
Review: It's hard to believe that Sven Vath's empire has been in existence for 11 years, but what's easier to comprehend is the label's unerring knack of releasing killer club techno. This compilation gives some of Vath's favourite artists - like Roman Flugel and Steve Rachmad - as well as newbies like Patrick Kunkel, who also provides a DJ mix, a chance to rework the catalogue. From Visionquest's murky but driving take on Dinky's "Acid in My Fridge" through the abrasive, jacking Flugel remix of Martin Buttrich's "Hunter", Carlo Lio's tribal take on Dubfire vs Huntemann's "Diablo" and the fist-pumping, big room techno of Paul Ritch's interpretation of 2000 & One's "Tropical Melons", there can be no doubt about this compilation's dance floor credentials.
Review: Just This celebrate their tenth anniversary with X, a compilation that skirts at the edges of ambient, techno and even pop. Those more mainstream elements are audible on Mind Against's epic remix of Blausch's "Brood" while on "Good Old Days", Woo York's thumping electronic groove also features pop vocals. There's a darker side to Just This' canon, and this comes through on Yotam Avni's brooding "Name Dropping" and the low-slung,frazzled groove of Extrawelt's "Ort Und Impuls (Alternate Version)". However, what really shines through are the dreamy techno grooves from Hunter/Game and Sterac's "Hypnotized", a powerful club track that combines firing percussion with seductive, Detroit techno-style bass.