- Given that Sebastian Mullaert has wandered everywhere between Minilogue's trance and minimal techno, IMPS's electronic jazz and the freeform ambient of his Eitan Reiter collaborations, it was perhaps inevitable that he'd one day cross paths with Kontra-Musik boss Ulf Erikkson. With a love for left-field house and techno, the Malmö pair have explored their common ground in joint live/DJ sets, in which Mullaert often jams over Erikkson's mixing. Now we have a snapshot of this in the form of The Dance, a live mix recorded at an exclusive gig for their friends at the Inkonst club in their hometown.
At first, The Dance feels like a snapshot of a different kind of dark room: hearing the blend from Andreas Tilliander's "A Dub For Holger Nilsson"—the sort of atmospheric vista Carl Craig might open a set with—into FAR Electronic's "Memento Mori" is like watching a photograph emerge in developing fluid. The hi-hats give the monochrome shades some definition, and a burbling acid line gives it all depth. It's mainly a minimal sound throughout, but more of the Dino Sabatini school than the sleeker big-room style favoured by Cocoon, a label on which Minilogue are regulars. The pair are well versed in how to build hypnotic layers and use negative space around tracks like TM404's "202/303/303/303/808."
The unmixed vinyl version features nine previously unreleased tracks—the highlight of which, after "Memento Mori," is Mullaert's "Fusion." Unless you want them for DJ purposes, it's much better to hear what they do in the mix, such as combining Kondens' stripped-back "Boly Ascend" with Marcel Dettmann's "Lightworks." Mullaert provides live versions of his own new tracks, like "The Blurry Mist Of Yourself," in which the oscillating acid line gets ever more frantic.
For all Mullaert adds with his machines, The Dance still feels like just a DJ set, albeit a good one. The best moments after all—the appearance of Silent Servant's remix of "Time Track" by Mokira, Efdemin's "Transducer" or Joey Anderson's remix of Tin Man's "Futurist Acid"—are down to the most traditional DJ skill of choosing the right point in the right record at the right time. There's clear chemistry between the two protagonists, but The Dance doesn't feel like it captures anything truly unique. And like most snapshots of other people's nights out, it lacks any real sense of emotional connection unless you were actually there.
01. Andreas Tilliander – A Dub For Holger Nilsson
02. FAR Electronics – Memento Mori
03. Sebastian Mullaert – Fusion (Live Version)
04. Marcel Dettmann – Factory Report 2
05. TM404 – 202/303/303/303/808 (Svreca Remix)
06. Sebastian Mullaert – Untitled Live Jam #1
07. Mokira – Time Track (Silent Servant Remix)
08. Sebastian Mullaert - The Blurry Mist Of Yourself (Live Version)
09. Marcel Dettmann – Lightworks + Kondens – Boly Ascend
10. Sebastian Mullaert – Untitled Live Jam #2
11. Prince of Denmark – Cut 02 + Porn Sword Tobacco & SVN – M.Headroom
12. Villa Åbo – Different Lick
13. Sebastian Mullaert – Untitled Live Jam #3
14. Lewis Fautzi – Sauerstoff + Daniel Araya – Superluminal
15. Efdemin – Transducer
16. Sebastian Mullaert – Movement (Live Version)
17. Tin Man – Futurist Acid (Joey Anderson Remix)