- David Moufang's return to Smallville features three patient pieces of understated ambient house.
- In an emotional post last month, Julius Steinhoff announced that Smallville Records was shutting its brick-and-mortar stores, and that Smallpeople, his longtime duo with Just von Ahlefeld, was coming to an end. Then Steinhoff tempered the blow by announcing a new release on the label from David Moufang under his Move D alias. Move D on Smallville feels like a homecoming. Has any record captured the Smallville aesthetic better than Moufang's classic collaboration with Benjamin Brunn, Songs From The Beehive? Inside The Freero Dome tries to carry that dusty, analog torch from the moment the lethargic kick and snare emerge beneath the melancholic pads on the title track. Across the record, Moufang settles into the luxuriously deep and minimal house we expect from the Hamburg institution.
If "Inside The Freero Dome'' is Moufang at his most introspective, the rest of the 12-inch gives us a fuller picture of the Move D sound. "Swarm Robot Love," with its jazzy brush of snares and acoustic instruments, has some of the disco flair that he brings to his DJing (and showed in spades on 2019's LP for Aus, Building Bridges). Away from the glitter of the disco ball, Moufang taps into his techno tendencies on "The System Is…," recalling Reagenz and Magic Mountain High as he slowly twists a snippet from a choir adds dubby chords and muffled drums into a track that is more paranoid and less plaintive.
On account of his generally prolific career (and a steady stream of reissues and unearthed DATs), it's hard to believe that Moufang hasn't released a solo 12-inch as Move D since 2016. In this sense, this tribute to his spiritual festival home, Freerotation, feels like a bit of an event—the return of one of the dance world's most beloved producers to a label he has championed since its beginnings during the German deep house revival of the late '00s. Moufang and Smallville, as usual, trade flash for nuance. These are spacious and subtle tracks that need room to breathe and grow, making Inside The Freero Dome a quintessential Move D-on-Smallville record.
01. Inside The Freero Dome
02. The System Is...
03. Swarm Robot Love