- Marcel Fengler has a more celestial bent than his peers at Berghain. Those tendencies came out in full on his excellent debut album, Fokus, which landed on Ostgut Ton loaded with pretty melodies and appealing textures. Since then, he's left the label's ranks. Kyu was originally slated for release on Ostgut Ton, before Fengler announced his departure from the crew. Now it's out on his own label, Index Marcel Fengler, continuing its recent run of tough, melodic techno.
The tracks on Kyu were created to be versatile—the promo came with a note calling them "an ideal companion whether you're pruning your bonsai or branching out a club set." And while they're not quite relaxed, they're bright and friendly. The whirring organs on the title track, for example, are a sound you wouldn't have heard from the Marcel Fengler who mixed Berghain 05 back in 2011. But "Kyu" also features a wonderfully muscular rhythm bolstered by some heavy low-end, not to mention a catchy chord progression that wobbles through the whole thing.
"Shitau" is big on melody, too. It's easy to mistake the roaring synth for a Nils Frahm sample, and the way it looms over the tune like a tidal wave is something to behold. Like "Kyu," the track's rhythm section is addictive and detailed, making for emotional techno that doesn't sacrifice its dance floor potential. "Zen" has elegant drums that sound like they're made of plastic and glass. It's not hard to see why Fengler might have wanted a fresh start—judging from Kyu, he's got a fresh new sound.