Tiefschwarz - Left

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  • If you spent any time clubbing in Berlin or London circa 2007, then Left, Tiefschwarz's fourth album, will sound immediately familiar. It's richly evocative of that point where minimal techno morphed into playful, strung-out minimal house. Watergate was closely associated with that psychedelic sound; you can understand why they're releasing Left. What's odd is that Ali and Basti Schwarz are making such music now, when at the time they were still releasing relatively muscular tech house. Little about Left suggests the brothers Schwarz have a natural proclivity for the counterintuitive leaps of imagination that made minimal house so addictive. The disembodied brass samples that float across the functionally brooding "Morgen Abend" fail to surprise. The collaborations with vocalist Khan sound like they are grasping after, and failing to capture, the jazz-tinged delirium that made dOP's early work compelling. Likewise, "110," featuring Mama, hovers in that moody, anti-diva territory that Cassy once made her own, without truly committing. The central problem here (one even bigger than the banality of Khan's lyrics) is not that Left sounds like a record brought out of cryogenic suspension, but that Tiefschwarz seem incapable of letting go. There is a rigidity in their approach, a thickness in their basslines and a chunkiness to the synths and pads that suggests that, deep down, they still want to make dramatic, electro-tinged house. "Do Me," which could be an old Tiga tune, and "Dark Light," a fantastic juxtaposition of whirring electronics and a melancholy melody, are the best tracks here. Left sounds like a record caught between those two worlds, and one fundamentally out of time.
  • Tracklist
      01. Heavy Weather feat. Khan 02. Free Falling feat. Khan 03. Morgen Abend 04. Do Me feat. Khan 05. Dark Light 06. 110 feat. Mama 07. Prayer feat. Khan 08. Hi Fu 09. Echo Drug feat. Khan 10. Any Moment feat. Emily Karpel 11. Dings 12. Forever feat. Khan 13. Laid Black