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Marcel Fengler – Enigma EP review

For whatever reason, Marcel Fengler does not yet enjoy the same international profile as his Berghain colleagues Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann. Hopefully, Enigma will help to change that situation, with Fengler showing diversity that his more purist peers lack. This is evident on “Rapture”, where an insistent techno rhythm leans towards  the loopy approach of the late 90s/early 00s. Naturally, Fengler resists the urge to go into full-on ‘party’ mode, and tempers the arrangement with filtered jazz licks and eerie riffs appearing and disappearing at random. “Razkaz” is the most typically Ostgut track on “Enigma”, a dense, repetitive track based on granite beats and steel girder percussion, but woven between these somewhat austere elements is a playful ethno sample. It could seem out of place in such an austere environment were it not for Fengler’s adept arranging. Finally, the title track delivers what this writer feels is Fengler’s finest moment to date: “Enigma” snakes and pulses fluidly with nods to electronic disco, but the eerie strings and those typically dense Ostgut percussive drums give it the requisite dance floor rigidity. Caught somewhere between human spontaneity and machine-led precision, Marcel Fengler’s latest release proves itself to be enigma wrapped up in a techno riddle.

Richard Brophy