- Over the past year or so, Patrick Gräser has revealed himself to be a truly inspired techno artist with his music as Answer Code Request. In 2012 he became a resident at Berghain and released two spectacular EPs, The Host and Main Mode, both through Marcel Dettmann's label, MDR. Those records showed a producer cut from the same cloth as Dettmann and Shed, with a style that stems from the Basic Channel tradition of techno but is still very much his own. On Crack City, he more boldly explores this signature sound.
ACR's music is defined by vivid sound design and an impressively flexible approach to rhythm. His textures are sci-fi and subaquatic (a bit like Porter Ricks, who Gräser seemed to reference with last year's "Biokenetic"). His beats are unconventional but always intuitive—like the artists on Hessle Audio or Livity Sound, he sees endless possibilities in the placement of drums sounds within the measure, and only occasionally settles for a four-to-the-floor pulse.
This is more true than ever on Crack City. Both of the record's A-side cuts, "Perepetia" and "Strange Days," are slow and syncopated, yet deceptively DJ-friendly, with a mood that would suit the post-apocalypse scenes in Terminator. The B-side has more of a UK vibe. Shed appears as War Easy Made with a blistering remix of the title track that, true to form, flirts with elements of jungle, placing understated breaks over a bassline that's pure dread. The original mix is both more understated and more, well, original, with a pitter-pattering rhythm that creates a kind of odd, weaving motion. All four are some of the best techno tracks to come out of Berlin this year.
A2 Strange Days
B1 Crack City (War Easy Made Remix)
B2 Crack City (Original)