- Eighteen years after it was released, Autechre's Amber seems to be coming back into vogue. Function's latest EP for Sandwell District, Ember, echoed the album's uneasy drones and reverberant clang, as well as its title; Marcel Dettmann's new single for Music Man takes similar inspiration. (This shouldn't be surprising: he recently played Autechre's "VLetrmx21," an ambient track from the same era, on Beatport's Ustream broadcast.) The main feature in "Landscape" is a slow, muted melody that swells in the background, a dead ringer for Amber's plangent synthesizer pads. The drums are classic Dettmann, hissing and thudding as though swaddled in cotton and sandpaper, but their syncopated shuffle also evokes early Autechre's interest in broken electro rhythms. It's uncharacteristically muted for Berghain's dungeonmaster, but a faint cry that rises from the mix, repeatedly, carries a faint echo of the peak hour's ecstasy and agony. In practical terms, it would make a smashing warm-up track, but it's more than that; it feels like the kind of track an ambitious DJ could build a set around, capable of providing surprising twists and pivots for years to come.
It falls to Answer Code Request to whip the track into prime-time shape, and he does it admirably, punching into the bass register and letting tightly syncopated 909 snares ratchet up the tension. It's hair-raising, but even at high volume, it feels strangely quiet, like a forest clearing at dusk, where the mind races at shapes that disappear into thin air.
B Landscape (Answer Code Request Remix)