Extrawelt - Schöne Neue Extrawelt

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  • You have to be step-on-glass cautious in throwing the word "progressive" around in dance circles, but Extrawelt have a tendency to craft within the brainier elements of the term while slimming its bloat. With a background in trance as Midi Miliz and also Spirallianz, Extrawelt's Arne Schauffhausen and Wayan Raabe are certainly not strangers to thick, blitzkrieg techno music. While Extrawelt's past singles for labels like Border Community and Traum have seen the duo use the Extrawelt name for more refined tech-house creations, the duo's never completely shed the dark-corridor depths of their past. A welcome balance of those strains, Extrawelt's debut album, Schöne Neue Extrawelt, ain't Sunday Breakfast fare, flirting with the psychedelic ends of the spectrum without ever resorting to the lobotomizing or cheap libido typically associated with "trance" techno. Perhaps the first thing you notice about Schöne Neue Extrawelt is its remarkable cohesion, despite its myriad tempo-changes and sonic outfits. Shaped from over twenty-five available tracks, the duo picked the twelve that worked best in concert, and the result is yet another commendable full-length—that dance music rarity—on the back of Minilogue's Animals for Cocoon. Not so much inky as boarded-window black—with dead light cutting in only on the edges—Schöne Neue Extrawelt makes extraordinary use of space without ever really getting quiet or slow; it seems to move, as a whole, with an innate understanding of just how much time, and what energy resources, it needs to leave for its completion. In fact, Extrawelt are damn cagey in how they calculate momentum without succumbing to coarse peak-time madness or too much mid-tempo footdragging. "One Tree Hill" twinkles and chimes like coins dropped down an aluminum slide as its shifting synthetic strings usher in a steady beat, while "Wippsteert" is jumpier, with subtle, creepy BoC-like melodies wavering between the speakers. "Messy Machinery" has an ascending-descending staircase quality to its movement—hectic and cluttered in comparison to most of the album, but held in place by a great lockstep groove. Fans of past singles like "Soopertrack" for example will be happy to know the album's steeped in the long-form lunar escapes as well. "Darkside of My Room" is best illuminated by the light that's missing, as buried analogue tones set a foundation for shy melodies that seem to fade when they catch you listening. With bells like carbonated bubbles rising mixed into an increasingly sturdy backdrop, "Homing" makes for simple pleasures out of relatively economical elements. "Trümmerfeld" too shares that sense of slow-moving shadows, but sounds more corrosive and jaded, like the edges were scorched a little. But "Lost in Willaura" may be the real stunner. With ambient tones soon crimpled by FX and buried-cable bass, Extrawelt resemble The Field working in a black icestorm instead of blinding snow, a rare moment where the duo gives into the simple, stark charms of atmosphere.
  • Tracklist
      01. One Tree Hill 02. Darkside Of My Room 03. Wippsteert 04. Messy Machinery 05. Must Attack 06. Trümmerfeld 07. Wolkenbruch 08. Added Planet 09. Kurt Curtain (skit) 10. Daten Raten 11. Lost In Willaura 12. Homing