- At the end of 2013, Efdemin spent three months in Kyoto, where his usual routine was replaced by a regimen of meditation and cultural immersion. It was there he finished Decay, expanding on ideas he'd sketched at his studio in Berlin. You can hear this in the record. Phillip Sollman's third long-player is the most straight-up techno thing he's ever done, moving away from the earthier deep house of tracks like "Night Train" or "Knocking At The Grand" toward something more steely. But it's also his most peaceful record, creating a feeling of calm more than anything else. Decay reflects an artist in his element, and it tries its best to make you feel that way, too.
Nothing on Decay would take the seasoned Efdemin fan by surprise, but that's not the point here. From the moment the brief vocal intro ("my body isn't listening to me") drops into the massaging groove of "Some Kind Of Up And Down Yes," you feel like you're reclining into an old leather chair. The drums in "Transducer" are like soft caresses; on "Decay," they keep things at a zen-like flow. Even "Solaris," a distillation of Detroit techno at its most brittle, is more like a lullaby, all smooth edges and warm currents.
Those who remember "Acid Bells" know that Sollmann can make even the most placid track a belter. Softer moments like "Parallaxis," with its disorienting chimes, or "Drop Frame," with its unassuming techno shuffle, have robust foundations that would make a fine bridge in any techno set. Sollmann hides a real stormer away near the end with "Track 93," a track whose half-sung, half-spoken vocal sample creates a rosy glow of sensuality that makes its rhythm section seem to bang even harder.
Strange little bits of speech pop up throughout the album, interrupting the fluid perfection of Efdemin's techno as if to nudge you out of sleep. That hazy world, where the borders between dreams and reality become blurred, is where Decay lives. That the LP was made amidst the rolling mountains pictured on the cover (the photo is Sollmann's) feels appropriate: Decay instils in the listener exactly the state of mind that birthed it.
01. Some Kind Of Up And Down Yes
02. Drop Frame
07. Track 93
08. The Meadow