- Marcel Fengler has become one of Ostgut Ton's most versatile producers, and that's mostly thanks to the variety of textures he packs into his tracks. He's given three of the four slots on his latest Index Marcel Fengler release to artists in the label's orbit, but the Unit EP feels less like a split than a distillation of the textiles that make up Fengler's musical fabric.
Two of these tracks come from recent Index signees: Polish veteran Echoplex and lifelong Berliner Thomas Hessler. The former captures Fengler's notably light touch on "The Relapse," leaving plenty of space between purposeful kicks, well-wrangled cymbals and science-fiction synths. It doesn't stay empty for long, though—melodies swell and recede, only to flood the stereo field in one final, noisy whoosh. On "The Escaper," Hessler adopts the psychedelically epic strain of techno flowing through Fengler's masterful Fokus, not to mention the hard resolve of his early-morning Berghain sets. Giegling affiliate Vril is the new guy here, and his (comparatively) slow-and-low anthem features a lead synth as melodically and texturally twisted as they come. It's the furthest-out inclusion here, but with its almost unwieldy melodic lines and atmospheres, it's a perfect fit.
Where does all this leave Fengler's cut? "Scion" is slick, driving and craftily weird, all seasick half-melodies and insistent drums. It's not exactly techno, but it's hardly house, and it's far too familiar to be something else. Maybe boiling Fengler's sound down to a couple of easily describable tendencies isn't fair—his signature brew is far too murky to be separated into its constituent parts.
A1 Marcel Fengler - Scion
A2 Thomas Hessler - The Escaper
B1 Echoplex - The Relapse
B2 Vril - Thronwagen