Jonas Bering: Behind This Silence

The Orb/The Rice Twins: Speicher 33
Kompakt Extra

Mufo: C.L.A.U.D.I.A.

lorent: G-Net EP

Lots to love on these latest EPs from the Kompakt headquarters. Powered by a chugging shuffle, Jonas Bering's “Behind This Silence” huffs and puffs magnificently, all gleaming surfaces and carefully-calibrated euphoria. It's immediately apparent that resisting the glorious splendor of his sixth Kompakt release is a futile endeavor. Changing it up, Bering chills the pace on the flip: “Durance” chimes sweetly as it cruises by in a dubby strut while the gently streaming wonderlands “Melanie” and “Missing” deploy the most beatific of spectral melodies to work their magic. No nightmarish ambiance here, just twenty minutes of the most ravishing techno sparkle one could possibly hope to hear.

The Speicher dynamo rolls on with a split disc featuring The Orb and The Rice Twins. Hard to believe the former's been issuing music since 1989 when it's still able to pump out material as fresh as this. Awash in waves of surging synth squelch, Alex Patterson and Thomas Fehlmann work up a glistening dub-chug on their rocking club stomper “God Less America/Gorgeous” before exiting with a delicate coda. Glorious synth showers rain down upon a sweetly strutting groove in “For Penny and Alexis” by The Rice Twins (Jesper Engström and Valdemar Gezelius from Sweden); at less than five minutes, the tune's over quickly but is heavenly nonetheless.

Heading down a clubbier path, the Kompakt sub-label K2 honours the label's classic minimal techno style with two mighty dance-floor singles by Mufo and Florent Renard. On his jacking three-track debut, Mufo (26-year-old Italian and self-professed Profan and Studio 1 fan Andrea di Francesco) strips “C.L.A.U.D.I.A.” to an infectious broil of machine shudders and burbling bass blips, and induces electroshock bleeps and twitches in “Kopper.” Strasbourg-based Florent Renard opens G-Net EP with the trippy title track, a crisp, trancey groover sparked by chunky synth burble and clacking breaks. Stomping home after a night of serious mischief, “Ritournell” then dusts itself off and, aided by percolating arcade melodies, swings into more lucid form for the trip's remainder.

March 2006