- If Workshop, Smallville and Dial are the wise, safe old hands of deep house, then Dresden's Uncanny Valley are here to fuck shit up with some post punk attitude and sonic scuzz. At the heart of the label since day dot has been Jacob Korn, someone who has shied away from the genre's usual trappings and instead favours a prickly pallet that takes cues from swathes of music well outside the usual electronic sphere. And that's what seems to define his debut full length, You & Me. It feels thoroughly European, where a slightly frosty industrialism pervades in place of the soulful, jazzy, funky (take your pick) tropes many practitioners repeatedly fall back on.
The result is an unsettled—and even, at times, unsettling—album of darkened, heavily textured contrasts, both from track to track and across all ten as a whole, with contours similar to those of a club set defining the overall form. Things start at a mechanical, heavyweight beatdown crawl before churning through the gears, thrilling with each clear but coherent change. That every track is a collaboration probably helps in that regard, but importantly doesn't dilute Korn's message. Working with, rather than for, him, the sonic fingerprints of each of his chosen studio aids are there for all to hear.
Of course, that means the deepest and cleanest moment on a comparatively grungy LP comes when Christopher Rau enters the fray on "I Need You." Though not unpleasant thanks to the warm and lazy pulses that swing below, it's a moody and synapse firing start someone with Trentemoller's ear would no doubt appreciate.
After the slight respite with Rau, "Heteronomous" goes dark and druggy like Audion, before "Do Your Thing" keeps up the pressure, building and building on a grumbling bassline like an intense sonic trip. Spine tingling melodies, slapping wood block beats and knife edge bell sounds awaken your every nerve so the more spacious and radiant cosmic bass exploration of "Shock Me" is another well sequenced comedown. San Soda's work with Korn on "Punta del Este" marks the album's most extroverted moment and will likely be the biggest on dance floors as a result, though the bright sunlight-through-a-dirty-warehouse window of "Makin Love" with Cuthead won't be far behind.
Far from fading out into a romantic and rose-tinted reverie, listeners are bussed right back to a desolate urban landscape where huge, almost gothic bass stomps destroy all in their wake. As ever, there's a counterpoint—here it's the smooth voice of Tabitha and her infectious "dum da dum" hook. And that's another thing to note. Despite plenty of vocals appearing throughout, none demand your love, preach about house music or mumble about Detroit. Instead they're as stormy and tumultuous as the sounds in which they are encased, yet can still prove anthemic. Like the album overall, they compel you to feel recognisable things in fresh and unrecognisable ways.
01: Jacob Korn feat. Sea Of Love - The Place
02. Jacob Korn feat. Kid A - Broken
03. Jacob Korn feat. Sandrow M. - Friction
04. Jacob Korn & Christopher Rau feat. The Drifter - I Need You
05. Jacob Korn & Sneaker - Heteronomous
06. Jacob Korn & Mr. Raoul K - Do Your Thing
07. Jacob Korn & Swede:Art - Shock Me
08. Jacob Korn & San Soda - Punta Del Este
09. Jacob Korn & Cuthead aka Kornhead - Makin' Love
10. Jacob Korn & Break SL feat. Thabia Xavier -You & Me
11. Jacob Korn feat. Johannes Held - Mit Der Nachsten Welle