Robag Wruhme: Thora Vukk (Pampa)
Gabor Schablitzki’s nom de techno Robag Wruhme returns with a new full-length of meticulous leftfield techno. It’s his first full-length since the much more direct Wuzzelbud “KK” that came out in 2004, and the shift in labels from Musik Krause to DJ Koze’s newer Pampa imprint is indicative of how much more subtle and less obvious Thora Vukk is as a project for Schablitzki. In contrast to the glitchy techno of Wuzzelbud “KK”, this material is quite different and organic in feeling. It sounds oddly acoustic despite being so carefully constructed, with many of its sounds seeming like they’re recorded concrete samples or instruments. Electric piano, mallets, plucked strings, piano and more seem to be sprinkled throughout this release, along with softer, less harsh drum sounds. The human voice also plays a role here and there, showing off Schablitzki’s affinity to modulation and manipulation, usually re-pitched or otherwise distorted. I like the elegance of these pieces, working well on their own but especially well as a full album. Schablitzki has a clear vision for Thora Vukk from start to finish and it shows, without feeling repetitive or played out. Much like Isolée’s last album, Thora Vukk seems to have found the perfect home in Pampa, a label that embraces the quirks and eccentricities that would otherwise perhaps undermine an album’s place in the respective artists’ dance music world. He’s split the difference between home listening and dancefloor compatibility well here, though for me it leans more heavily on the former, moving my brain more than my feet, and I have no complaints there.
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Pampa won’t let me embed their player for whatever reason, so go here to listen.