- The German duo Achterbahn D'Amour have always been smart interpreters of the Acid Test brief, taking the mellow new school 303 sound in a range of directions: more techno, more dreamy, more abstract. They've rarely ventured as far as they do on Acid Test 13, their first record in a couple of years. It leaves the house underpinnings of their gentler tracks behind, entering a twilit space where Tin Man-style melancholia gives way to something much stranger. They bring some production tricks with them. If you thought there was nothing left to be discovered in the classic Roland sound palette, check "Balustrade"'s acid line, a string of weird subterranean burbles and bleeps filtering slowly in and out of focus.
That track is punishingly slow, but its droning pads glimmer with optimism. "Dehaveland" picks up the pace but extinguishes the last wisps of light. What's left is deft greyscale techno, embellished with smears of sour melody. The Dutch electro avant-gardist VC-118A is right at home here—his remix streamlines its loping groove into pinpoint-precise 4/4, and fills its bleak spaces with mirage-like sci-fi soundscaping. We're some distance from Recondite at this point, but the dreamy electro of "Don't Talk To Me" makes a partial U-turn, its 303 line turning perkier twirls over cotton wool melodics. It feels like the duo have earned this sentimental moment.
B1 Dehaveland (VC-118A Remix)
B2 Don't Talk To Me