Exercise One – Several Things At Once review

Artist: Exercise One
Title: Several Things At Once
Label: Wagon Repair
Genre: Minimal/Tech House
Format: 12″, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

Named after a Joy Division song, Berlin duo Exercise One have honed their sound over the years, to the appreciation of minimal fans and followers of the more sophisticated end of techno. Marco Freivogel and Ingo Gansera released their first album, In Cars We Rust, on Anja Schneider’s Mobilee label, and it came as a fresh and distinctive treat. Those skills thankfully spill over onto this new EP, out on Canadian label Wagon Repair.

The title track is definitely pacey, with trademark tight kicks and splashy hats getting overtaken by a slow-release synthline that becomes addictive after a while. It’s definitely bouncy and big enough to work in DJ sets of a lot of differing styles, not just those on a Richie Hawtin tip.

“Breeze” offers a nice change of style though, reminiscent of the band that gave them their name with a solemn, stuttering vibe driven with chiming ride cymbals. “Colony” also has an engaging and slightly haunting mood, breaking down to a hypnotic sea of filtered-down keys at one point. “Prowl” is just as interesting, an ambient sidestep away from simple 4/4 beats. “Twin” is a more pulsing, driving techno tune with an absorbing bassline and some heart-stopping filter crescendos to boot.

Review: Oliver Keens