Norman Nodge: The Happenstance (Ostgut Ton)
German producer Norman Nodge, né Norman Noczinski, is one of the residents of the Berlin club Berghain. He’s gradually been creeping into the global techno landscape with under the radar releases and collaborations, and this 12" for Ostgut Ton is his latest presentation of quality minimal techno tracks. The title cut kicks off with a stripped down, almost melodic sensibility, with insistent 808 drum programming and sparse synths that recall the more minimal neo-trance style of some of Mathew Jonson’s earlier material. But the highlight of this one for me is “Body to Body,” which is just as physical as its name implies. An undulating, repetitive bassline carries it against a heavy kick and a staggered, dirty snare that reminds me of old industrial records. “Breakdown” is more of a bonus track than a contender against the other two cuts, a short workout of percolating drum fills that could potentially be a fun DJ tool to break up a set as it sputters to a close. But the two leading tracks make this one more than worth the while, two rather different vibes but neatly within the minimal aesthetic that has defined most of Ostgut’s catalogue.