Review: Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann has a formidable reputation as a remixer, but this writer feared that he had bitten off more than he could chew with his latest project. After all, he was tasked with reworking one of the standout cuts from this year's best techno album, and these doubts only intensified when the original with its menacing bass swagger, layered, reverberating noises and chilling vocal were replayed on this remix package. Thankfully, Dettmann has risen to the occasion; "Definition 1" doesn't stray too far from the original, with a swinging bass and a focus on Middle eastern horn riffs prevailing. It's on "Definition 2" that he really deserves kudos: upping the tempo and combining layered, Basic Channel dub chords with the plaintive vocal, it's a near perfect mix of techno and electronic torch song soul.
Review: Released with the minimum of fanfare, Dismantle represents Rabih Beaini's first substantial release as Morphosis since last year's Tepco Report 12", and comes in the form of a five track release for Honest Jon's. The first part comprises two Morphosis productions obviously aimed at more adventurous DJs, with the title track (in collaboration with Donato Dozzy) comprising subtly rattling percussion and organic tones unfolding over a steady rhythmic pulse, while "Tamrat Version" comes across as more full bodied, with thicker organ textures tied up with pulsing synths. The second part meanwhile is something entirely different, comprising a live score to Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr recorded in Romania; free of rhythm and utilising some outlandish modular sequencing, it's the producer at his most immersive.
Review: On What Have We Learned, Lebanese producer Rabih Beaini is presented with the same dilemma that every other electronic music artist with lofty intentions faces - namely how his music can make the successful transition to a long-player format. Unlike most of his peers however, Beaini manages to imbue What Have We Learned with a common narrative, despite flirting with a range of tempos and arrangements. That unifying bond is a sombre, atmospheric mood. It's tempting to posit that Beaini was influenced by his residency in Venice - but many of his previous releases have also had a similarly somnambulant quality. Irrespective of its origins, this gloominess is audible on the opener, "Silent Screamer", where a resonating bassline underpins an arrangement that skirts loosely around the edges of conventional house music. It also plays a central role on "Too Far". Featuring freaked out Gothic vocals and tumbling keys, its grungy, primal rhythm makes the connection between modern techno grime and industrial gloom. Yet What Have We Learned isn't a depressing or demanding listen and although his music is pitched at the outer limits of dancefloor centric electronic music, its ethereal tendencies will draw listeners in rather than repelling them.
Review: This triple-album collection is something of a treat for Prins Thomas fans. Released as an accompaniment to his epic, three-disc Paradise Goulash mix, it's entirely made up of previously unreleased re-edits from the Norwegian maestro. Musically, it's as cosmic and varied as you'd expect, variously touching on ambient (Claude Speed), Balearic jazz (Gabor Szabo), Middle Eastern oddness (Cat Trance), synth-samba (Richard Schneider Jnr), modern classical (a Johanna Billings cover of Arthur Russell's "This Is How We Walk On The Moon"), and all manner of hazy, sun-kissed grooves. There's little slamming dancefloor fare, but plenty of unique versions of overlooked, little known or forgotten musical gems. For that alone, it should be an essential purchase.