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Barker & Baumecker: A Murder Of Crows (Ostgut-Ton)

This one’s been in irregular rotation on my headphones since the spring. I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about it and why I like it so much. There’s something sinister about these tracks, perhaps projected onto the music by the title alone. The double-entendre of “murder” and all sorts of childhood associations of crows with darkness (many a late night viewing of Damien: The Omen II, what can I say?) turns an already heavy-handed slab of techno into something more nefarious. Despite the darkness of these two cuts, there’s a punchy and syncopated rhythm section that gives them each a bit of spring. “Part 1”’s snare rush midway through the track is a highlight, heavy and urgent, while the jaunty melody of “Part 2” helps set it apart from its other half. By the time it reduces into an airy pad to close it out, the tone has shifted from sinister to almost cloying, an impressive trajectory over the span of merely two techno cuts. Very hot stuff! I just read today that the duo released a full-length last month — so I’ll definitely be picking that up.

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