- The dominant thread in techno over the past few years has been the "Berghain sound," but it finally seems as if the tides are shifting. Hell, even the Berghain's own mix series and its most famous resident showcased moves towards a more melodic and varied sound earlier this year. Dutch label Delsin and its immediate family, including the "deeper" Ann Aimee imprint, has long been exploring the fruits of the crossover between pounding, straight-up 4/4 and the softer edges of dub techno—with a bit of free-for-all experimentalism thrown in—and Inertia // Resisting Routine is Ann Aimee's first mix CD, one that shows a fearless and rousing take on techno that feels refreshingly removed from the photonegative darkness that has held the genre in its clutches since Berghain 02.
Calling your mix Resisting Routine might be a tad self-aggrandizing, but at least the Inertia part is right: though Delta Funktionen's mix is composed mostly of dynamic breakbeats wading through a synthy mud puddle, it's remarkably stationary in feel. Apart from a few moments of lively excitement like Mike Dehnert's juddering "Pneumatic" or Lucy's centrepiece "Wytonia"—which all but stops the mix in its tracks with its tense moment of silence—Inertia is steady going. It's a savvy mixture of smart selection (every track is exclusive to Ann Aimee, released separately on a series of EPs) and meticulous mixing, so only the most excitable moments stand out in the careful blending, like Skudge's house-leaning "Pollution" or Roman Lindau's savage "Borne."
The consistency lends Inertia a monochrome sheen but its colour and personality is located all in those shifting, skewed breakbeats, a permanently staggered limp that turns anthemic in Funktionen's hands. He's a cogent choice to mix the compilation, a techno renaissance man gaining praise for every techno style he's tried on in the past year, and if nothing else Inertia // Resisting Routine proves his growing DJ reputation is completely justified.
Weaving exclusives into something legitimate on its own terms is not an easy task, and while Inertia // Resisting Routine might indeed be a mix CD notable more for its tracklist than its mixing, the possibilities for techno's immediate future that it seems to point towards are exciting to say the least. Every producer provides dynamite, with new-to-the-scene names like Cosmin TRG and Marcelus providing some of the disc's best moments. It's a portrait of adventurous techno that strikes a near-perfect balance between melody and propulsion, between dance floor sensibilities and ear-catching minutiae.
01. Sascha Rydell - Rainy Days
02. Sawlin - Excipidial
03. Ozka - Square Beauty
04. Cosmin TRG - Plaisir Interdit
05. Skudge - Pollution
06. Marcelus - 24-7
07. Peter van Hoesen - Last One At 1080
08. Conforce - When It Appeared
09. Lucy - Wytonia
10. Sigha - Finding Myself
11. Redshape - Static
12. Area Forty_One - C.N.T.C.T.
13. Roman Lindau - Borne
14. Mike Dehnert - Pneumatic
15. Milton Bradley - Sequence #1
16. Delta Funktionen - Torpor