To borrow from one of Blake Baxter's best-known tracks, Sender, 'what happened!?' The Berlin label was for many years known as a bastion for all things gritty and grimy, but that seems to have changed on Tentacular. Not that it's a bad thing; Tigerskin's take on the title track sees the German producer offer up seductive bleeps and the breeziest summer piano keys imaginable over clipped drums. Even when label boss Benny Blome delivers an edit of his own track, the changes are subtle. There are tougher claps and the synths are more mysterious-sounding, but the rolling, filtered groove and the overall mood is gentle and understated rather than dark and menacing.
This seminal Berlin label was around long before the German city became the capital for techno, and thanks to the remixes of old tracks, Re:Sender Volume 1 shows that it will outlive the hype. Kotelett & Zadak face a tough task, namely reworking Minimal Man's "Plastic Smile", but they do so with ease, combining hiccupping rhythms with airy strings, tripped out vocals and gently building chords. Ada's take on Metope's "Second Skin" is more reflective, with the undisputed queen of melodic German techno fusing a deep synth line with a resonating bass rumble. The Someone Else version of Misc delves deeper into clicky house sounds, while John Spring's take on Sluts 'n' Strings & 909s "Summerbreeze" is a heavy, rolling groove infused with repetitive vocal samples and infectious filters.