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Erdbeerschnitzel – Always Remain review

Absolutely sick return to the game for Erdbeerschnitzel after an extended period in the record releasing wilderness. Previous twelves across Mirau, 4Lux and 3rd Strike from the German producer have all hit the right notes, but it’s obvious the time spent away from the spotlight has been focused on honing the sparkling, multi-tempo brilliance that unfolds across the four tracks here.

3rd Strike must be pleased as punch to be putting this one out, with the German producer revealing a hitherto hidden talent for working with vocalists on “Always Remain” – a stupendously bouncy collaboration with Berlin based white soul boy The Drifter. Now the term future boogie gets thrown around far too easily these days, but “Always Remain” is definitely that, the yearningly soulful tones of The Drifter effortlessly riding a day glo procession of multi-layered luminescent synths and live drum fills. Subsequent to this, the Strawberry flavoured one indulges in some suitably murky explorations of house music rhythms via “Same Same” which ascends from its dusty beginnings into a deliciously off kilter groove garnished with a typically pots-and-pans approach to percussion. The point where a soaring piano arrives and the track swerves into some kind of subaqueous treatment of classic Chicago House invocations is pretty much perfect.

Check the flip where “A Merchants Lament” switches up the tempo again, bringing intricate MPC manipulations around chewed up vocal samples that unfold with soulful intent – again it’s the disregard to sit with one direction across the length of the track that smacks you for six. After the scattergun finish to “A Merchants Lament” proceedings close on “Devotion”, which begins in calmer fashion as delicate female harmonies float in over the rhythmic marriage of swerving piano flutters, cleverly chopped beats and what might be deft sampling of the Seinfeld intro. Just when you think matters will remain calm, the mother of all electric organ lines comes in and signals a huge rise in dancefloor impact. All four tracks here need to be heard in full to grasp completely their excellence. We can only hope that whatever else Erdbeerschnitzel has been cooking up in his West German studio touches on the electrifying brilliance demonstrated here.

Tony Poland