Housemeister: Enlarge Your Dose

Mini: Audio Hygiene
NRG Komrads

Two delectably dirty electro-tech-house debuts from two artists, Berlin-based DJ-raver Housemeister (Martin Böhm) and Montreal-based ‘DJ-electro queen' Mini, who are surely destined for bigger things.

Böhm follows a couple of 12-inch releases on BPitch Control with Enlarge Your Dose's fifteen hot-wired club bangers. Brace yourself for an hour-long cavalcade of blaring B-Movie horn samples, mangled vocoders, bubbly techno pulses, combustible grooves, and assorted other madness. Housemeister layers a stern voice sample (“What you have done is wrong”) over a grinding and squealing goosestep in the grimey raver “We Need The Kick,” and spews skanky electro-disco-funk in the title cut as an android female muses on the sexual habits of Americans and Russians. Warped bleeps twist and turn throughout “Beach-Control Stadt Berlin ” while the sweetly rocking “La Grand Final” sounds like an electro-house anthem designed to celebrate the Autobahn. Wildly inventive cuts like “I Love It” and “Surprise, Surprise” find Böhm indulging a freak-out jones that's more indebted to experimental electronic music than dance music per se.

Though she established herself as DJ Mini, she discards the prefix for her eclectic Audio Hygiene debut. Two years in preparation, the disc finds her ranging between electro, hard techno, and electropop while making room for contributions from Trisomie 21, Lesbians on Ecstasy (whose vocals enliven the burning grime-pop of “Ego Trip”) and Spanish rapper Butta Beats. Mini's influences extend from Boards of Canada and Cocteau Twins to Nitzer Ebb and Throbbing Gristle so it's no surprise her music's all over the place too—not that there's anything wrong with that, as evidenced by the high-quality product displayed here. The fabulous opener “Blue Velvet,” a rabid mélange of razor-sharp hi-hats, electro bleeps and squeals, and techno-grime, establishes an immediate peak and the material hardly falters from then on. On a blazing techno-grime cut like “No Works of Words,” Mini's gothic sound smacks of the underground chamber, while her industrial leanings surface in the brutal techno slam of “Tchak!” Entering Lali Puna territory with the melancholy “Walking” and pulsating “Cycle,” Mini proves she's equally adept at crafting sparkling electropop too.

One of the things that stands out about both discs is how much they combust with unrelenting energy and ideas, admittedly one would expect, or at least hope, to hear on artists' debuts. Enlarge your dose indeed.

December 2006