- Ostgut Tonträger is now Europe’s premier techno inprint – no mean feat for a label that’s only seventeen releases in. It’s a reputation that will only be consolidated when Marcel Dettmann’s outstanding Berghain 02 drops in June, and in anticipation of the big release, O-Ton has released two vinyl EPs comprised of new tracks by its affiliated artists, all of which make an appearance on Dettmann’s mix. The first of the two EPs featured two outstanding cuts from Shed and Tobias, but here it’s the turn of Finnish unknown Samuli Kemppi and Berghain resident Norman Nodge.
A few bars into Nodge’s ‘Native Rhythm Electric’ and my brain makes an immediate (and pleasurable) neural connection: Garnier’s ‘Crispy Bacon’. The commonality with Garnier’s old-timey floor destroyer is the throaty tone of the bass synth, which has the loose, rumble of a big bore V8 growling out a revved ode to its favourite oompah band. Where it updates this classic approach is with the distinctly high-tech sound design, not least of all the washes of sparkles that dance across the speakers like burning magnesium off a sparkler.
Kemppi’s track is slightly less impressive, but still rock solid. The connections here are less to motorsport and more to the classic loop-driven techno of ’96-’04 – mostly because of the rolling bells that carry the groove through the night. But, unlike the old loop stuff, Kemppi’s track is much, much slower and deeper, and with richer, sweeter sounds than you’d usually hear on the old tracks with the insectoid incessancy of their hat patterns. I should add that this track has an absolutely massive, floor-shaking kick, which I’m sure is even more brutal if the vinyl version plays at 45 – perfect for the big gay Vikings of the Berghain main floor.
If you’re interested in knowing where techno is at in 2008, this is it.
A Norman Nodge - Native Rhythm Electric
B Samuli Kemppi - Vangel