Dominik Eulberg: Spülsaum
If I were enlisted to assemble a shortlist of five artists I'd choose as techno ambassadors designed to ‘sell' the genre to outsiders, Dominik Eulberg's name would likely be on that list. As the three pieces on Spülsaum EP demonstrate, the dedicated birdwatcher's sophisticated productions blend melody and rhythm in flawless manner, and the joyous spirit that infuses his electronic tracks makes them all the more endearing (the EP title, by the way, translates as “drift line,” a reference to Eulberg's park ranger days when he would direct guided tours to drift lines in Wangerooge). Each piece plays like a scenic journey that takes the listener through a changing landscape, something they're especially capable of doing when their running times extend up to ten minutes. There's a fresh and outdoorsy feel to the music, which is light years removed from anything one might call dark techno.
“Hühnergott” (“adder stone” or “witch stone”) establishes the EP's tone when Eulberg's radiant chords are joined by a swinging pulse possessing no small amount of bounce. As the track advances, the music alternates between episodes of intensity and decompression, with the synth-heavy material gloriously swelling at one moment and then retreating the next. Funkier by comparison is “Meerjungfrauenportemonnaie” (the word refers to the egg of a cat shark clad within a square-shaped form known as a “mermaid purse”), which digs into its tight, low-end pulse from the first moment and carries the listener along until the transporting climax arrives nine minutes later. The mood grows clubbier as the minutes pass, and the funky bass groove powering the track at the halfway mark is a thing of beauty. The EP ends with another clubby low-rider, “Unechte Wendeltreppe” (a seashell with vertical row of ribs on its shell), this one a classic techno-funk jam Eulberg's sprinkled with off-beat percussive noises. It's all vintage stuff, though anyone mulling over the choice of formats should know that, while the tracks are the same on the vinyl and digital versions, the digital version of “Meerjungfrauenportemonnaie” is five minutes longer.