- Thomas Melchior has been a long-term exponent of the more organic strain of Berlin minimal techno. His productions, for labels such as Playhouse, Cadenza and Perlon, invariably have a stripped-back sound, but it seems always to be a grievously honed simplicity, with each element delicately constructed and made to count. ‘Different Places’, his new 12” for Perlon, is perhaps his finest yet.
The title track is driven by a relentless kick and contrastingly warm, soulful mellotron chords, with a hushed vocal sample proclaiming again and again, “I get lonely in different places…” As the track progresses, an irresistible upstairs-downstairs bassline and clicky drum track set in, while quintessentially Perlonic, jazzy fills drop in and drop out, before that sublime mellotron riff returns – and it’s testament to Melchior’s production nous that he can make such a spare, dressed-down riff carry the weight of a colossal drop on reentry. On the flip, ‘The Phantom’ is just as reduced and melancholic, but it too has enough rhythmic power and bass movement to capture a dancefloor.
This is seriously artful house music made for headphones, clued-up clubs and, most of all, those afterhours that are beyond good and evil.
A Different Places
B The Phantom