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Move D – Workshop 13 review

Move D – real name David Moufang – is currently in one of those periods where everyone wants a piece of him, and, for a man who has been consistently doing his thing with the minimum of fuss for many a year, it’s impossible to begrudge him time in the spotlight. This is the German producer’s fourth release for Workshop Records, following the DJ Laté collaboration on Workshop 02, the Playtime album (as one half of Reagenz) and a split release with Even Tuell and Sascha Dive on Workshop 04.

Expectations for Workshop 14 were always going to be high – partly thanks to Moufang’s stunning release on Uzuri a couple of months back, but also because the previous release on Workshop, from Kassem Mosse, was one of the finest yet in a peerless back catalouge. As with every Workshop release, the attention to detail is immediately apparent; shrink wrapped, hand stamped vinyl and embossed text serving as a delicious visual accompaniment to the sounds on offer.

Anyone familiar with Move D’s back catalogue will know he’s a master of subtlety, the king of calm. And so it proves on his opening missive here, as jangling melodies, smoky guitars, skipping hats and barley there vocals whisper below an insistent beat on “Track 1”, sprawled luxuriantly across the A-Side. An abundance of sonic touches – most notably vocal fragments thrown around the arrangement – and delicious chiming keys lend the track a shimmering, smile-inducing energy. The track is lengthy, yet never becomes dull. There are subtle twists and turns, produced with a sure hand and intricate poise.

The two B-Side offerings are soaked in the trademark Move D style; a beefy drum loop signals the opening of the untitled opener, with loosely arranged cymbals applauding the arrival of warm keys. A tad heavier than the A, Move D locks the elements into a groove, before stripping the track to its bare bones and starting again with dubby atmospherics. By the end those drums feel positively booming, the hats fall back in line and heads should be well and truly nodding. Despite the quality of the first two tracks, the best is left for B2 (just like on the aforementioned Kassem Mosse release, oddly enough). Intriguing mechanical percussion, droning bass and a heavily filtered melody buried deep beneath a bewitching vocal sample give the track a wistful 80s vibe, sounding like Moufang’s take on the dreamy West Coast sounds of Nite Jewel and 100% Silk.

Aaron Coultate