Walkner.Moestl: Structures

Though Uwe Walkner and Karl Moestl haven't issued material as collaborators for a decade, Structures is so solid it sounds like they've never been apart. In 1999 and 2000, the duo released two EPs on Kruder&Dorfmeister's label G-Stone (Bluish, Heaven Or Hell) and did remixes for Tosca (on the Suzuki in Dub re-work project) but then went their separate ways, with Moestl eventually starting up Defusion Records and Walkner DJing around the world and forming the duo Walkner.Hintenaus. On their first full-length release, the reunited duo's ultra-modern synthetic sound riffs on no shortage of genres, with their funky dance tracks drawing on electro, crunk, dubstep, breakbeat, soul-jazz, and, of course, house and techno too.

The album gets a huge boost from the crew of singers Walkner and Moestl recruited to add soulful vocals to their high-gloss backings. On nine of the album's sixteen tracks, Eva Klampfer, Martin Klein, Farda P., Didier Uwayo, Elle Fee, and Nina take turns at the mic, with Klampfer's soulful turn on the loping house cut “Meanwhile” and Klein's crooning contribution to the grooving electro-dub track “The Dawning” among the standouts. Klampfer later emotes just as effectively over the deep house-dubstep hybrid “Ascend” and the sputtering dubstepper “Promise.”

Though one's attention naturally gravitates to the singers, one shouldn't shortchange the producers' contributions in the process. Walkner.Moestl's work is polished in the extreme, and the duo prove as capable of powering tracks with tight whipcrack grooves (“Head Down,” “Follow Me”) as they are bringing an orchestral sweep to a melancholy house ballad such as “Fragments.” “Faces” and “Movement” find the duo digging into wobbly dubstep tracks but with a feverish intensity not always heard in dubstep productions. Walkner.Moestl's focus on melody and groove can't help but call Booka Shade to mind, so devotees of the latter should find Structures worth checking out. At seventy minutes, the recording's longer than it needs to be but let's think of it as Walkner and Moestl trying to make up for lost time.

October 2010