- Martin Stimming's music perfectly suits the winter months on the Baltic coast where the Hamburg native's third album was recorded. Although it's always been possible to see traces of human habitation flickering on the horizon of his work—strings, fragmented jazz samples—Stimming's music can also feel somewhat cold and remote, and not necessarily the first place you'd look for club kicks. Stimming's beats, by his own admission, are often too slow and loose for DJs to mix, although his albums have conversely felt too uptight—being so meticulous they bordered on anally-retentive—to really love at home either. This actually made a strange kind of sense on 2011's Liquorice, which was apparently inspired by a collapsing relationship, where mutated samples of keys and Coke cans evoked the feeling of everyday things turning awkward and sour.
Stimming also begins with found-sounds as seagulls caw and waves roll in on "The Origin." Anyone using processed field recordings in house music will inevitably invite Matthew Herbert comparisons (particularly if they've devised their own rules around the use of samples, as Stimming does here) but he carries it off well, and even makes a political statement about the financial crisis with "Die Machtingen." What's apparent on the track is a spacious production style akin to dub techno, where even a pin-drop hi-hat can appear to reverberate deeply. This approach is to the definite benefit of tracks like "Third Of June," where it gives room for the fluid groove to slosh around; but on "Uberblick" it emphasises an apparent lack of ideas.
The album's classical allusions aren't too over-egged given that Stimming is a classically trained musician. He draws on his background to great effect for "Cherry Blossom," where the elegant strings and piano make for one of the most romantic pieces he's produced. "Ferdinand," a glitchy folk track with vocals from Urzula Amen, also shows signs that Stimming's icy façade can melt, even if he never quite melts your heart.
01. The Origin
02. Third of June
03. Ferdinand feat. Urzula Amen
04. Cherry Bud
05. Die Taube auf dem Dach
06. From One Cell feat. Urzula Amen
07. Die MÃ¤chtigen
08. Dylan's Theme
09. When I'm Drunk
10. Cherry Blossom
12. Feeding Seagulls