- Marcel Dettmann's eponymous imprint started in 2006 as an inconspicuous white label outlet. By the time of this year's compilation, however, it had become a sizable operation with a multi-national label tour and PR push. MDR's two most recent releases have reverted to its early methods, dropping within a day of each other and with no advance notice. Answer Code Request delivered Calm Down, a head-turning 12-inch containing some of his most straightforward material, while the other one came from the anonymous SaPa.
SaPa is a name we only know from 風物詩, the double-LP that landed on Giegling sister label Forum this past summer. That album laid out a massive yet cerebral sound, drowning distant techno rhythms in field recordings and thick layers of ambience. We Can Be Friends doesn't change that formula, but it does bring the drums somewhat closer to the front.
The title track is a good encapsulation of SaPa's style: fearsome bass slathers the low-end like mud, while the beat wades through it, hesitant and off-piste. "Fast Jam" is more powerful, but even here the slamming drums seem to be disintegrating on impact. Dissolute in comparison, "Untitled II" almost completely smothers its rhythm in atmosphere; you could still play it in a set, but it'd be a weird moment.
"Morocco" gets the balance just right. At first it sounds like another abstraction, a splatter of sound lost in a pool of reverb. But listen closely and you can hear a faint melody cooing behind the drums. Like the best parts of 風物詩, "Morocco" can sound like a work of art hidden under frosted glass. We Can Be Friends might have landed like another no-frills 12-inch, but its ambitions stretch further than the dance floor.
A1 We Can Be Friends
B1 Fast Jam
B2 Untitled 11