Review: Berlin producer Mike Dehnert's second artist album in as many years will probably not win any awards for its imaginative title, but once the needle drops, there is no end of surprises. The most remarkable aspect of Fachwerk 25 is that it sounds unlike anything else he has released. This is especially surprising given that he had come close to perfecting the art of creating grungy, Chain Reaction-influenced techno, but it is crucial that he did so as his releases had started to sound samey. Indeed, the greatest strength of this long player is that it sounds like many things, but the one thing that it only occasionally sounds like is a Fachwerk record. There are austere but brief codas on "Intro" (another great name!) and "STH", while Dehnert proves himself to be an unlikely fan of Italo and minimal wave with the pulsing grooves and eerie synths of "Fraction" and "Modulat". He also gets on board the acid train on "Resize" and "Slim" but thankfully doesn't attempt to recreate jack tracks, instead favouring a dalliance through rough rhythms. Speaking of underground techno, he shows his appreciation for the noisy, distorted end of minimalism once practised so effortlessly by Landstrum and Vogel on the wonky rhythm and analogue yelps of "Grundform", rather than the spacious dub rhythms of Basic Channel. But while Fachwerk 25 celebrates electronic music's past, it also sees Dehnert escape from his own musical inhibitions, and as the evocative ambient textures of "Courant" demonstrate, it is at times a painfully beautiful parting of ways.
Review: Absent on the production front since his latest LP dropped on Delsin in April, Mike Dehnert returns to home base Fachwerk for the Switch Back To City EP. As ever, there's a leftfield vibe to much of the four productions from Dehnert, and the producer sounds like he had particular fun with lead track "Detroit Switch Back To City", which twists those trademark synths in all new ways. A more explicit dub techno approach takes hold on "Orage de Chaleur" though Dehnert does drop plenty of alien sounding textures into the mix, whilst both "Sans Cesse" and "Lax" offer a detour into wonderfully deranged techno territory.
Review: Mike Dehnert is a firm fixture amongst the tougher realms of Berlin techno, not least for his Fachwerk label. This time around, the menacing lunge of EP opener "Montage" plumps straight for the awesome industrial, melodically-bled kind of techno that rattles Berghain on a weekend. "Isolateur" sparks even more interest with its housey refrain pinned down by a steady set of notes that seem positively musical in comparison. "Picon" is a surprise of ambient techno, with not a whiff of mixability about it. It's a pleasant reminder that, when he feels like it, Dehnert is capable of trying something different. An excellent and well rounded EP.
Review: Placide provides a four fingered assault on your senses from the prolific Mike Dehnert through home stable Fachwerk. Apparently inspired by some spam email entitled "Give It To Me Raw!" Dehnert elected to record opening track "Drehimpuls" live in Paris for extra rawness, with suitable results; the track literally barrels through a thick wall of corrugated sonics. The remaining three tracks sound slightly cleaner in comparison, though the sheer sound design at play ensures the unpredictable serrated synth of "Charger" or booming warehouse groove of "Eigenzeit" prove just as memorable. Final track "Isolant" is undeniably funky too, trapping some lost female vocal deep beneath the mangled kicks and smacked out whistles.
Review: Celebrating thirty releases of unrepentant, groovy techno, Mike Dehnert's Fachwerk stable has always been defined by the man himself and his cohorts Sascha Rydell and Roman Lindau. Here they all get a look in with a three-way collaboration resulting in the titular track "Fachwerk 30". The quirky stomper features impulsive key stabs and bassy grumblings that bring to mind a free-flowing studio jam session, not least when the nasty acid tweaking comes in at the end. Roman Lindau's own "The Yeah Thing" is an addictive slice of bumping techno, while Sascha Rydell finds a more rolling framework to get busy with, but all the tracks make sense forming part of a greater whole, like all of Fachwerk to date.
Review: In the lead up to Fachwerk's quarter century milestone - an album from Mike Dehnert - the label's main players again share the release duties. Sascha Rydell's contribution is by far the most crossover, centred on a discoy loop and offering a housey version of Fachwerk's sound. Elsewhere, it's business as usual; Roman Lindau's "Plavix" is everything one would expect from the Berlin label, a stripped back techno groove, slightly stepping and swathed in razor-sharp metallic percussion. Dehnert meanwhile, drops the clunky drums and visceral hats of "Avec", which provide the backdrop for a typical chord build. But just as Rydell surprised, so does the label owner and "Traces Of" provides an unlikely mixture of distorted beats and a sassy double bass.
Sascha Rydell - "When You Play It" - (6:09) 125 BPM
Roman Lindau - "Under Pressure" - (5:11) 125 BPM
Review: Germany's Fachwerk stable drops a second collaborative EP from label heads Mike Dehnert, Roman Lindau and Sascha Rydell. Entitled, quite simply, Fachwerk EP 2, it follows last year's Fachwerk EP which included tracks from each of the three producers at the centre of the label's quite singular techno vision, which combines crunchy, swung mechanical rhythms with warm, rolling, dubby tones. It's one of several releases which will culminate in the release of the label's 25th release, which we imagine will be something quite special indeed. The EP is as brilliant as you'd expect, with the muscularity of Dehnert's "M10? augmented with vocals that sound like snatches of Arthur Russell, the metallic strings of Lindau's "Grow" and the manic piano groove of Rydell's "When You Play It" all offering solid entries into the label's formidable catalogue. This label is simply on fire at the moment - don't sleep.
Review: Fachwerk has big plans to mark its eighth anniversary. Apart from a series of label nights, it also has an album release in the pipeline. For the many fans who won't be able to wait for that release, this EP may satisfy. Dehnert's own "Avant Que" is a rolling, driving affair, made all the more urgent by dint of its alarm bell hooks, while "Hain" is a buzzing, swinging dubby groove. By contrast, Sascha Rydell's "Identified" revolves around a stripped back, splintered rhythm and Roman Lindau's "Rockin Snare " is a stepping, insistent affair, shot through with a repetitive vocal sample. It shows that after eight years, Fachwerk still has the magic touch.
Review: The latest addition to the Fachwerk family is Jens Tozzberg. Inspired by early rave and un-derground techno, this four-tracker manages to balance functionality with individuality. "Brewe" is classic Fachwerk material, with a moody chord building and breaking over a ro-bust, acid-laced rhythm. "Baritum" is a downtempo affair, with reflective sounds populating the resonating beats, while the mood changes drastically on "Bollschoff". There, a noisy rave riff spills its way over a tough, grinding rhythm. Label owner Mike Dehnert is in charge of remix duties; retaining the unmistakable riff at the heart of "Bollschoff", he uses his trade-mark stepping drums and croaking percussion to imagine it in a new context.
Review: As far as Basic Channel-inspired techno goes, it sounds like Mike Dehnert has a new rival. Lindau may have a smaller catalogue, but like his other releases, Lot De Deux hits the target with unerring accuracy. "Avide" is subtler than is Fachwerk's wont, its pulsing rhythms and razor sharp percussion supported by swinging drums and a drunken vocal sample. "Sub Suggestion" is tougher and more toolish thanks to its relentless drums and firing percussion, but whatever inherent aggression features is offset by the hypnotic chord stabbing.
Review: Roman Lindau has chosen the title of his new Fachwerk release wisely, as it is the most diverse release on the Berlin label so far. At one end of the spectrum there's "Slow Dope", a laid back shuffle that is briefly reminiscent of Plastikman's "Spastik" played at 33rpm, but which soon morphs into a mellow chord sequence. At the opposite end of the scale there's "Crasse", where a horror-rave bass and abrasive filtering create an intense peak time track. Finally, "Lyrica" is different again, a sparse metallic workout with glistening percussion and a detached, robotic undercurrent. If you're looking for a break from techno purism, then this release is for you.
Review: Fachwerk signs off on an excellent year in the best way possible - presenting this collection of all new material from label bosses Dehnert, Lindau and Rydell. Roman calls shotgun with the brain matter scraping, gutter punch rhythms of "Hurt" that masterfully crafts the relentless motion from indecipherable vocal fractures. As finely poised as the track is, the A-Side is dominated by the subsequent collaboration between Lindau and Dehnert. "Sophia" is perhaps the most dementedly brilliant production to surface from the Fachwerk studios yet, with the dense swamp of bass and singular drum kicks in the opening bars not really giving prior warning to the thrilling rhythmic mess of saturated acid and panning vocals. Dehnert is in more familiar foundation-pummelling form on the flip with the caustic and unrelenting "Blattwerk" which explodes with colourful textures midway through, whilst Sascha Rydell has the last laugh with the pressurised percussive presence of "It Happened". Big tip!
Review: Dehnert is a prolific producer, with a long list of EPs and albums to his credit, but Home is his most diverse work yet. While he initially rose to prominence with storming club tracks, much of his latest album sits in stark contrast to that style. There's the atmospheric ambience of "Intro" and "No Time", and the electronic torch song, "Between No Words", featuring the vocals of Albert Vogt. On "Want Be", there are echoes of the German producer's sinister techno sound, albeit realised against a lithe stepping rhythm, while the title track and "Up" sees Dehnert use his trademark churning chords and firing percussion in a more off-beat style. Even on more out and out dance floor tracks, like the swirling organ playing of "Providing Home 2", Dehnert ends up sounding more like Bodycode than Basic Channel. It's an assured, mature work.
Review: Mike Dehnert makes a departure from his usual cavernous dub techno sound on Wexit . "Given Take" is a stripped back, slinky affair, featuring spliced up vocal samples and rickety rhythms, while on "Greenrock", it sounds like the arrangement is submerged in waves of white noise as Dehnert delivers a clanging, metallic groove. On " Kraft", the approach is quite different, as he drops a driving, percussive groove that's led by firing high hats and a squelchy backing track. Meanwhile, "Trible City" has echoes of 90s loop techno as a layered, rolling arrangement is powered by powerful, panning filters. It's a fine release by a producer who is at the top of his game.
Review: The appearance of Smoke is timely for German label Fachwerk. Its catalogue had become too serious and dry, and this collaboration between UK producer Roberto and vocalist Envoy injects some much-needed soul to the label's driving dub techno sound. This combination proves seductive on the title track, with the singer's edgier than usual tones teased out over layers of dark chords and hypnotic bass pulses. "You Will Rise Again" sees the duo go deeper, with heavy drums and eerie synths supporting spooky but soulful tones. In case Fachwerk fans are bored with these deliberations, then Mike Dehnert and Roman Lindau both deliver remixes of the title track, full of insistent filters, driving percussion and boisterous bass licks.
Review: The latest release from Fachwerk alumni Roman Lindau finds a trustworthy metallic bumper housed up on the A side. Indeed "Now" plays on all of Lindau's strengths, keeping the scraping elements under a tight control even as they swing with abandon, both abrasive and instantly grooving at the same time. "Rave On" takes a more surprising turn, with the titular inspiration proving to be something of a red herring as a stadium techno synth struggles under a particularly distant swathe of processing while a slender beat propels the oddball cut along. It's a different flavour for Lindau but he still delivers.
Review: The latest release on Berlin label Fachwerk comes from one of its most adventurous practitioners. Rydell has provided the label with some of its most off-beat releases and Thought is no exception. "Thought Disorder" is based on a drunken, sideways groove and features warped vocals and a succession of break downs. Although at first it sounds deceptively abstract, when Rydell's furious percussion kicks in its efficacy is more audible. By contrast, "Haptic" is more reduced and less frenetic, with chopped up, repetitive vocals set to a loose rhythm. There is also a contribution from Roberto on this release and "Moons of Smoke" is a jazzy keyboard-led, dubbed out workout that sits well beside Rydell's seemingly abstract sound.
Review: Fans of Mike Dehnert's label are used to being presented with heads-down, no-nonsense purist techno, but this time it's different. Sascha Rydell, one of the close-knit Fachwerk crew, gives full vent to his experimental side and the results are hugely impressive. "Matin" opens the release with washes of dreamy ambience populated by half-heard vocals. There's an ambient soundtrack of a more creepy nature on "L'eclair", where eerie, disturbing tones prevail, but in general the mood is dreamy and atmospheric. This is audible on "Alchimie du Verbe", where a shuffling rhythm is bathed in airy textures and "Hit The Bass Jack", where an acoustic guitar riff competes with clicking percussion and plinky plonk riffs for an unexpected but welcome diversion from Fachwerk's usual sound.
Review: Berlin imprint Fachwerk has continually set high standards in techno for nigh on twelve years now. Its output particularly the early 2010's heralded a new era in German techno alongside established local imprints such as Klockworks, Vidab and MDR. It's steely, refined and austere aesthetic is on fine display on the fourth edition of the label's new digital reissue, containing material from the early vinyl releases FW031 - FW038, including unreleased special edits. All the usual suspects appear: label staple Roman Lindau delivers a barrelling rework of UK producer Roberto's "Rings Of Smoke" in proper heads down fashion, the ever impressive Sascha Rydell delivers more reductionist club music executed boldly on "Haptic", label chief Mike Dehnert finely shows off exactly what high-end dub-techno is on "Placide" while label newcomer Jens Tozzberg does ultra deep on the cavernous and glacial hypnotism of "Baritum".
Mike Dehnert - "Boot Break" (remix) - (6:09) 124 BPM
Mike Dehnert - "LIVE Act Cut In Paris" - (5:39) 126 BPM
Mike Dehnert - "Charger" - (5:31) 125 BPM
Mike Dehnert - "Eigenzeit" - (5:55) 125 BPM
Mike Dehnert - "Isolateur" - (4:56) 125 BPM
Mike Dehnert - "FW" - (5:09) 125 BPM
Mike Dehnert - "Fachwerk 30" - (5:23) 125 BPM
Roman Lindau - "The Yeah Thing" - (5:59) 125 BPM
Sascha Rydell - "Palinka Girl" - (6:54) 125 BPM
Review: Over the course of a decade, Mike Dehnert's Fachwerk label became synonymous with a defined techno style - steely and functional but also inspired by the spacious dub shapes of Chain Reaction. This third collection of the label's highlights shows just how much Fachwerk's tight collective of artists created this sound, with contributions from just Sascha Rydell, Roman Lindau and Dehnert featuring, and tracks such as Dehnert's "M10"; Rydell's "When You Play It" and Lindau's "Under Pressure" exemplifying the Fachwerk sound.
There are some surprises however: Dehnert's own "Sophia Minus 2 Octave" features vocal snippets amid its grungy acid groove, while the label owner's "Blattwerk" is a steam-rolling metallic groove, but in the main, Fachwerk Part 3 is an impressive synopsis of the Fachwerk sound.
Review: Hot on the heels of the first Fachwerk compilation comes this follow-up instalment. The German label's contribution to underground techno has been considerable over the past decade, and this compilation showcases all aspects of its sound. On one hand, there's deep, dub techno bombs like label owner Mike Dehnert's "KEME" and the swirling chords of his "Dico B1" track, while at a different end of the spectrum, Roman Lindau opens up with the vocal-sampling house track "Adipeux" and the filtered "Sonnerie". On other occasions, Fachwerk offers up a more stripped back, linear take on techno mainly due to Sascha Rydell's contributions - but this release successfully brings together all of these strands in one cohesive manner.