Mike Dehnert: Fachwerk 25 (Fachwerk)
Mike Denhert is a fairly proliifc producer in his short time in the techno scene, with 9 albums in the last 5 years and far more EPs and singles. My only real exposure has been through compilation tracks, like his minimal contribution to Clone’s Inertia series, but Fachwerk 25 really surprised me by comparison. While it has the same minimal qualities, there’s a lushness to many of these tracks that gives it a warmth and soul that’s much more approachable. The first few tracks aren’t so stripped down, but rather quite melodic with arpeggio melodies that recall Giorgio Moroder as if transmitting from deep space. As the album progresses, the tracks get deeper and the grooves are more angular, like the decaying stabs and massive subbass undulation of the title cut, or the jagged edges of “Grundform” which recalls the stiff and alien sounds of early Profan. Many techno albums tend to seem padded to run long, but Fachwerk 25 has the opposite problem; Dehnert’s tendency for interludes or short tracks leaves me often wanting more. The melodic sci-fi tinged “Modulat” could easily run 3 times longer than its 2 minute duration, while synth experiments like “STH” could probably have been exploited as the basis for a full groove rather than a 44-second interlude. But this push and pull, the balance between sketches and complete ideas, the contrast between deep, mechanical tracks and melodic or atmospheric touches, is at the core of what makes Fachwerk 25 so exciting from start to finish. For me it is a complete validation of any hype around Dehnert’s repertoire — surely one of the best techno albums of the year.