- There's a story to be written about exactly what kind of influence collaborators have on the music that comes out under the name Timo Maas, Loco Dice, Anja Schneider, Ellen Allien or DJ T.. Each has famously—at one time or another—enlisted equally as big names to co-produce records and then released them under their own name. For T, AKA Thomas Koch, that has meant a long-term relationship with Booka Shade, who have helped craft?/tweak?/crystallize? the producer's sound into a loving tribute to Chicago house filtered through a European sensibility.
This year, however, Koch worked with Matthias Tanzmann (on "Outbreak" for his usual Get Physical home) and Ian Pooley (here on this Poker Flat 12-inch). And, as a result, you can't help but want to pick out differences: Whether it be in "Outbreak"'s sexy stutter-shimmer or in the light tribalisms of "Before Light"'s drums. There's no reason to question the result, though. "After Dark," like "Outbreak," may sound different, but that's a good thing.
Koch et al. seem to have embraced Get Physical's big room outlook with the label's equally-as-important classiness. "After Dark" is melodic enough to niggle, and rhythmic enough to make you forget. It's minimal with a splash of tech house, with "Before Light" being the mirror image in name and in sound. There, the drums are smoothed, allowing for the aforementioned tribalisms to take hold underneath and for that melody to niggle once again—this time emerging more as an adjunct to the rhythm than competition. Is it Pooley's influence? Or is Koch calling the majority of the shots? I'm not sure, and I'm not sure it matters much either.
A After Dark
B Before Light