Martin Buttrich – Full Clip/Programmer

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  • Martin Buttrich is probably an unfamiliar name to most. He has, however, a long pedigree in dance music, most notably collaborating extensively with Timo Maas. Not that you need to know this, of course, because this release comes out on Planet E, one of the iconic techno labels, and one owned by remixer of the year Carl Craig. Fittingly this is pure class from start to finish. Every detail is lovingly crafted from weighty but carefully judged kicks to hi-hats that enter at exactly the right moment. The A-side ‘Full Clip’ is likely to get the most play with its distinctive one-bar Detroit riff subtly evolving and mutating (using all sorts of studio wizardry). The result is texture and depth created from very simple musical elements in classic techno style. As the acidic bassline rises up halfway through, it feels like you could dance to it forever, and when the drums drop back in after the achingly intense breakdown, even the most minimal of scarves will be swinging. The B-side, ‘Programmer’ is actually my personal favourite of the two because it builds so beautifully. It never approaches the intensity of ‘Full Clip’ but instead gradually ramps up the tension moving from eerie echoing female vocals to snappy hats, to a slow crescendo of metallic pads. It feels like riding a wooden cart down an abandoned mineshaft with sonic details glinting like gems in the tunnel walls. My fantasy club is the kind of place that goes wild to tracks like this. I’ll stop myself now because this release contains such depth that I could really could write about it for pages. The one negative that could be leveled at it is that it does feel overly reverential of classic Motor City techno. The whole thing, however, is executed so beautifully that it feels churlish to criticize it for such a contextual issue. Nobody will worry about such things when it plays on a loud system.