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Heimat (Kompakt)

many years’ hiatus and working with different labels, Marco Haas has
returned to Kompakt. This excited me for many reasons, mainly because
his Bolzplatz record, released on Kompakt in 2000, was my first
exposure to his music, and it felt right in step with everything cool
in techno at the time. He’s explored a variety of styles and sounds
since then, but it’s safe to say that his return to Kompakt
appropriately feels like his most Kompakt-esque release since his
departure in 2003. Fans of his toothier Shitkatapult and NovaMute output
might be surprised by the ease with which most of Heimat goes down.
All eight of its tracks are totally solid, with three of his
signature schaffel in the middle flanked by four-to-the-floor cuts and a more downtempo number.
“Zum Mond” is a great opener, with its dreamy Kraftwerkian
vocoder repeating its title (translated, “to the moon”) as it
bubbles up from a murmur to a luminous groove held together by
drones. Ultimately it feels like a prolonged prologue to “Jaguar,”
the first single from the album. Even though distortion plays into
the layered patterns of this one, it still has a sleekness about it.
I dare say it’s almost aspirational or anthemic in a way that I’d
never typically associate Haas’s style; he’s gone and delivered one
of the best cuts on Kompakt in the last year.

orchestral loopiness and insistent hihats feel like a streamlined
take on the edge of one of his early records, Zartbitter, though in
general Heimat exudes a brighter vibe than some of those more
melancholic or ferocious early releases. That’s evidenced more fully
by the strut of “Stoli” and the anthemic lilt of “Zwerg,”
much brighter fare compared to murkier loopers like “Le Fux” or
“Juli,” though each of those is as compelling as the next. Many
cuts exploit vinyl surface noise, clicks, and pops as layered
elements in the mix, another classic Haas device that dates back to
his Kompakt Musick 12” from 2001. And yet it works as a way to
bridge these smoother sounds and his coarser output, a smart and
common thread. Really solid stuff all around, a welcome reunion of
Kompakt and T.Raumschmiere that I highly recommend.

Buy it: Boomkat