- What do you do when you've solidified your reputation as one of Germany's most inventive house labels? Release a techno single apparently. OK, so Pforzheim, Germany's Benedikt Frey, who premiered with some very Live At Robert Johnson-ready beats this year on Mule Electronic, isn't really a techno producer, and Running in Circles isn't a uniformly techno 12-inch. But its title cut is one of the more straightforwardly big room stompers the label has released.
"Straightforward" is a pretty good way to describe Running in Circles as a whole, which is something I'm not used to saying about LARJ records: their releases are on more of their own tip than practically anything else. But as Ostgut-style bass, crisp cymbals and snare accents coalesce into a snarling techno roll, you'll find yourself waiting for something to set it apart. (A touch of glassy '80s synth melody is about the extent of the label touchstones you'll hear here.) That said, it's tough to slag off a track that should nevertheless make such mean work of a sweaty crowd. Quite a bit slower and sonically stranger, with 707 rimshots dueling in wide stereo, "Closer" feels more in line with Frey's comfort zone. Still, this bit of jammy, moody deep house plays it a bit safer than you'd hope.
A Running In Circles