Marcel Fengler: Thwack & Thwack Remixes (Mote-Evolver)
Fengler is sort of a dark horse in the European minimal techno circuit. He runs with the Ostgut-Ton crew but his releases always strike me as slightly rougher around the edges than the rest of the stable. Released in 2010, “Thwack” is even still more aggressive. Instead of the lean physique that characterizes much of his Ostgut-Ton output, it’s a full-on, classic banger. There’s nary a melody in sight, just highly physical, visceral beats and waves of noise overhead. On the flip he delivers “Sculptures,” another banger that would feel right at home at Tresor circa 2000. It’s not quite as perfect as “Thwack,” but the two sit aside one another nicely. The remixes are less hard, leaner but not meaner. Norman Nodge distills the physicality of the original into something more subtle and sedate… it’s still got enough energy and momentum to move a floor, but it’s the deep bass of his production that drives it rather than the pure force of Fengler’s original. Luke Slater’s take on it under his Planetary Assault Systems moniker hits harder, sounding very much like a retooling, with the assorted pieces and parts taken apart and put back together to form a different shape with the same personality. Mike Parker’s mix is perhaps the furthest removed, with a buzzy, repetitive synth bass and a staggered kick that recalls some of the more propulsive moments of Sleeparchive. Each mix has its own distinct flavor, so techno DJs across the board are likely to find something that fits into his or her œuvre.