Stef Mendesidis - Klockworks 33

  • Heavy, catchy techno.
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  • Though it almost certainly is, it doesn't feel like a coincidence that Klockworks 33 came out just after Berghain finally reopened. The four-track EP sounds like it was created for the club, made in the image of those classic tracks that helped define Berghain (and Ostgut Ton) back in the day. Sure, the club's sound has evolved, but one listen to "Stalker" and its frantic, spiralling lead and you'll be rocketed back to the days of that unreal Sandwell District remix of Ben Klock's "Subzero." 
The Greek-born, Kyiv-based producer Stef Mendesidis has become a regular on Klock's label, going from relative obscurity to rubbing elbows with the big boys almost overnight in 2019. With his slinky, house-inflected drum beats and penchant for tightly coiled melodies, Mendesidis sounds like what you'd expect from Klock if he still regularly made music (and if he upped his tempos to the pace favoured by today's techno DJs). Take "Profiler," the EP's nastiest track. It's remarkably propulsive, but it's not a one-trick pony: the wobbly LFO bassline sounds like a wheel stuck in mud, while the eerie synths draped over the top add a melancholy note. "Sonica" features all kinds of three-dimensional sound effects and hard stereo panning that seems designed to fire the overloaded synapses of blissed-out ravers. "Wurlitzer Machinery" is the EP's house moment, where the galloping beat is countered by soulful Chicago chords that could have been taken from a Prescription record. There's lots of depth here. But my mind always returns to "Stalker," a Klockworks anthem along the lines of Trevino's "Forged"—no-nonsense techno as heavy as it is catchy. It's a formula only a few select producers, including Klock himself, get right.
  • Tracklist
      01. Stalker 02. Profiler 03. Wurlitzer Machinery 04. Sonica