- Well, that was fast. Not five months after issuing not just a debut CD, but a double (The Transitory State, out October '08), Stefan Goldmann turns in this finely calibrated mix-CD. Is he showing off? Of course—why wouldn't he be? The Empty Foxhole: shrewd title, conjuring a kind of anxious limbo, or maybe it's just a sly reference to Goldmann's narrow piece of the underground—which he appoints neatly and, sometimes, beautifully.
It's well documented already that Goldmann's basically following his own path at this point; he's clearly in the lineage of folks like Villalobos or Hawtin (both of whom appear on this mix), but he doesn't quite sound like either. That's abundantly evident here thanks to The Empty Foxhole's bookends. Goldmann begins with his own "Five Boroughs," skittering near-ambient that stirs together ominous piano and distant talk before a floating, lonesome flute announces Mathew Jonson's "Symphony for the Apocalypse." Tuomi's "Mourning Eyes" is a Goldmann production of, as RA's review noted, "a Finnish/Portuguese/German experimental jazz trio that sets Shakespearean sonnets to tinkling piano and double bass." Naturally, Goldmann ends his set with beatless dub atmospherics and an art-song vocal that's been cut to confetti, just in case you thought he was going for mass appeal or something.
There is, of course, nothing wrong and plenty right with mass appeal, but given the varied provenance of the selection here—the bulk of the tracks date from 2007-08, with others spanning 1997 to 2004—it's evident that the streamlined, sinuous feel is something Goldmann's had in mind for a while. That sense of purpose is evident from the first play: he's constructed a mix that moves as a single continuous line. Which isn't to call Foxhole static: Villalobos' "What You Say Is More Than I Can Say" may blend unobtrusively into Joel Mull's "Blossom," but damned if the two records sound all that much alike, and when Panash's "Cheval" hands the baton to Goldmann's "Wolverine," things noticeably brighten, as they do again near the end, when Dennis Ferrer feat. Malena Perez's "I Can't Go Under" introduces a recognizably human voice into the mix. But even there, things don't quite move straight. Who'd want them to?
01. Stefan Goldmann - Five Boroughs
02. Mathew Jonson - Symphony For The Apocalypse
03. Stephan-G & The Persuader - Kaos
04. Villalobos - What You Say Is More Than I Can Say
05. Joel Mull - Blossom
06. Minilogue - Inca
07. Nail - (I Don't Wanna) Hurt U
08. Plastikman - Hypokondriak
09. MIA - Chateau Mandourelle
10. Panash' - Cheval
11. Stefan Goldmann - Wolverine
12. Petre Inspirescu - Sakadat
13. Carsten Jost - Love
14. Jens Zimmermann - Tranquilitté
15. Dennis Ferrer feat. Malena Perez - I Can't Go Under
16. Francesco Tristano - The Melody (Balil Remix)
17. Tuomi - Mourning Eyes