- When producers who DJ get big on the touring circuit, they usually have less time to make music. It's a nearly unavoidable byproduct of success. As a DJ, Marcel Dettmann is busier than ever, and he hasn't released a solo record in three years, only completing a handful of remixes. It makes the unceremonious drop of his new 12-inch, MDR019, feel significant. There are four new original tracks, all of them in that inimitable Dettmann style: steely and distant with a glimmer of something shiny to keep you captivated.
Maybe "new" isn't entirely accurate. Astute techno heads will recognize "Onto" from Ben Klock's Berghain 04 mix, where it was called "RoHd" and credited to the alias ACT. (That also explains this version's "2010 Edit" tag.) Whatever its origins, "Onto" bangs with its moreish, swung drum pattern and a killer chord progression that lights up the otherwise skeletal track.
The other three cuts are obsidian tools. "Nautilus" is the best, a slice of classic Ostgut Ton-style techno. It's ultra-minimal, the hook being in the rigid rhythm itself instead of the high-pitched ringing in the background. "Escape" is a brief piece of rumbling engine room ambiance, while "Foundry" is a subaquatic groove with a hint of dub and some vaguely tribal drums—both are built with stellar production values that belie their murky atmospheres. None of these tracks compete for your attention, but, like Dettmann's best work, they're loaded with depth and detail.
A1 Onto (2010 Edit)