Marcel Dettmann: Dettmann (Ostgut)
Marcel Dettmann is one of a handful of producers releasing music through the Ostgut imprint, affiliated with the Berghain club night at Panoramabar in Berlin. His first full-length album is impressive, because many times the LP format for producers can wear thin after a few tracks. Too many times, an artist debuts an album that is half-great, half-filler… not the case here. Being an LP, it does afford Dettmann some creative license that strays from immediately DJ-friendly fare, such as the more severe “Argon” that kicks things off or the broken, urgent beat of “Home,” but he doesn’t indulge those impulses as much as one might expect. Most of the tracks here are extremely minimal techno, tried and true. They work well for mixing but also are quite good on their own. “Silex” and “Irritant” have the murky, underwater pulse of Basic Channel classics, but often times he’s more direct. “Captivate” has a compelling hook that never lets up, and “Screen” is a creeper with its insistent bass kick and subtle layers of sound. It’s hard to describe why I find this to be such a strong album, and anyone who doesn’t have an affinity to minimal techno might not find it to be so special, but this resonates deeply for me. Extremely lean and expertly controlled.