Sound of Berghain and Sound of Panorama Bar are monthly Ostgut Ton label nights at Culture Box, showcasing the finest Berghain techno and Panorama Bar house DJs.
Phillip Sollmann has never been to CHICAGO...
After the huge success of his selftitled debut in 2007 CHICAGO is the second album of the Berlin-based Producer and DJ who releases his music under his moniker EFDEMIN with DIAL Records. While setting up his new studio – autumn turned into winter and berlin would soon be covered in snow. The outside world faded away, noises were muffled and Sollmann felt more and more like being in musical psychoanalysis with himself. A perfect starting point for the production of a new album.
Revealing his wide range of expressions EFDEMIN starts with a kind of jazz jam-session between himself and his studio environment. Playing the drummachines, a farfisa organ and the drumkit makes “cowbell” an artificial weird tune, yet it remains human. Following are the two deep dance tracks “shoeshine” and “nightrain” which reflect his love for house and deeper techno. They aren’t looking for cheap peaktimes or breakdowns but focus on subtle seduction through sound. ”Oh my god” brings back the obscure jazz of “cowbell” with a piano-loop in the main role, contrasting against noisy bubbles, vocal-flakes and a melody you won’t forget.
EFDEMIN – CHICAGO, dialCDLP 021, release date: May 24th.
Next is the soulful “there will be singing” – a tune in the vein of detroit house with a long introduction followed by an impressive groove with a dark bass-line. “Le grand voyage” is a short but seductive study in dub-techno based on organchords and bass. From now on the heart lies more in the sound than in the melodies and the further the album develops, the more abstract and eccentric it becomes. In “round here” sound totally takes over and the beat takes a back seat. “Wonderland” is a long trip through sound and abstract layers of percussiongrooves – a somewhat psychotic piece of music which goes way beyond being music for clubs. CHICAGO comes to end with the reprise of the hearttouching melodie of “oh my god”, this time without the beat.
CHICAGO, EFDEMIN’s second contribution to urban blues, contains ten tracks as a result of Phillip Sollmann’s immersion into his own archives and experiences – may it be as a singer in a band years ago, composing theatre-music or playing as a DJ in clubs all over the globe. They deal with various influences, although always expressing his unique sense for deepness and his love for dance music. There is Jazz, there is house, there is techno and there are his instruments you can hear: Cello, Zither, Drums, Percussion, Organ, Synths, Drummachines and several small things like flutes and pipes appear here and there without ever walking into the trap of virtuosity.
Besides Techno itself, there are many important influences in EFDEMIN’s music from different sources and other times - a cosmos of music that has followed him for a long time and influenced his drifting and melancholic approach to producing electronic dance music. Be it the otherworldly music of chicago-based Sun Ra, minimalistic jazz /world-music-studies of don cherry, the enterprising tape music of basil kirchin or the microtonal instruments of Harry Partch to name a few of the influences that layed the groundwork leading up to the production of this album.
Is this a “chicago-house” record? No! But the windy city was the starting point to blow the cosmos with such abstract lovely music developed in a thousand directions. Arts, literature, architecture, jazz, american folkmusic, hip hop - CHICAGO seems to be the source of reference for so many important movements crossing EFDEMIN’s work. Finally CHICAGO is the title for an album rich in flavors and full of directions into contemporary dance music and the end of the world as we know it.
To quote his favourite pop-band Prefab Sprout: “there is no chicago urban blues” (Cruel, Swoon, 1984)
Techno according to Marcel Fengler has nothing to do with being a go‐getter or having an alternative career, it is way more than means to an end: it is his definitive and concentrated passion.
In Marcel Fengler’s world, opposites attract. Ambient and electronica are equal parts in his sets that owe as much to the UK’s progressive school of relentless techno as they do to that special “Berghain sound”. A dictum created by music journalists and a description that is a diverging as Berghain’s resident DJs. Being one of them since day one, Fengler made his very own and self‐confident contribution to that sound. He really knows his craft. Fengler’s DJ sets are characteristically offensive and dynamic, hard and consistent, but also surprising and emotional. In a realm that is dominated by technology and machines, his bright personality and the human aspect stay visible. You can feel his personal touch.
A similar versatility can also be found in his studio work. Marcel’s fondness for synth pads goes along with gloomy electro, hard and steady‐paced techno doesn’t compete with his sense for moods and deepness. His search for different parts that work as a whole is as visible here as it is in his DJ style. Marcel Fengler looks for quality over quantity. Nothing leaves his studio that hasn’t passed this test. Neither artificial shortage of releases nor coyness, this behaviour is essentially Marcel Fengler: passion before purpose.www.ostgut.de