- Although Johannes Heil has released a lot of albums, his last one, Freaks R Us, was four years ago—an eternity in techno. Three years before that was 20000 Leagues Under the Skin, which was as different from Freaks as the scene in which he operates would have been: trancey, chugging deep techno was later replaced by varied, in-your-face electro. The common denominator is an effortlessly solid and classic flair that's a kind of bookkeeping of music of the past. The reason for this seemingly misplaced discussion about albums in the singles section is of course that Freedom of Heart is a preview to Heil's upcoming Loving LP, and from it we can assume that he'll be reaching even further back in time than usual, as both of these tunes are straight out of the early '90s.
The title of the album, of course, screams smiley soul rave, and so does "Freedom of Heart." Roland-style drums? Check. Circling Happy Mondays-style strings? Check. Chorded electric piano rhythm? Check. The surprising thing is how he does it without sounding completely corny. This is up-to-date in a subtle way, and although it probably wouldn't be the absolute toast of the terrace party, it would certainly set a damn good mood.
"Could This Be"... another tune from 1992? With the same drum machine, organ stabs, and gospel vocals emoting "Could this be the love," it's hard not to say yes. It's got a 303. The intro is just a shade off Bjork's "Big Time Sensuality," but when the flutey whistling comes in it's more like Luke Vibert in a serious mood. This would be perfect at sunset with the string breakdown coinciding with that subtle transition into the more fictional, lamp-lit nighttime realm. It's my pick personally, mainly for the acid line, but both of these tunes are retrospectives of rare quality.
A Could This Be
B Freedom of Heart