- Fachwerk is the German term for when the framework of a building is partially exposed—think the wooden beams on the front of Tudor houses. The label of the same name is similarly interested in turning the underlying structure into the main attraction. Mike Dehnert's hypnotic tracks scrutinise the building blocks of loopy techno. He counterposes odd swing and grid-locked straightness, and sets contrasting timbres in careful balance. Like the centuries-old fachwerk method, the style has a bit of a heritage vibe these days—this sort of machinic techno sounded more at home around the turn of 2010. But Dehnert and co. are still at it, and his Echo 8 EP for Clone Basement demonstrates that the old approaches still work.
"Wokabeat" is the highlight, sitting in the dry, funky space that holds some of Dehnert's best. Its fat, downpitched voice, woody kicks and shaker loops cling tightly together, while controlled blasts of feedback go off in the background. The whole thing somehow both sits back on the groove and strains against it. The rest of Echo 8 sounds like the larger venues Dehnert tends to DJ in. The title track's angry rave stabs don't really go anywhere, but the other two are more dramatic. "Meckwiki" is Dehnert at his least subtle, with booming drums and obnoxious big-room synth snarls. Only a treacly voice in the background goes quietly against the flow. On "Say How," metallic chords whoosh unevenly against layers of rimshots scraping and paradiddling across one another. The hi-hats jangle unsteadily at the top, as if the whole structure could fall down at any moment. We know Dehnert well enough to be certain that it won't.
A1 Echo 8
B2 Say How