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Marcel Fengler – Berghain 05 review

For some reason, reactions to the news that Marcel Fengler was going to mix Berghain 05 focused on the fact that he is the club’s most overlooked resident. This is to do Fengler a disservice and to understand the club in the narrowest context possible. If anything, the trajectory Fengler follows here defines the broad brush strokes played out in the Berlin club. There’s the eerie intro which moves from Marcel Dettmann’s vocal version of Emika’s “Count Backwards” into Peter Van Hoesen’s spacey, bleeping “Axis Mundi”. Classic sounds always form an integral part of Fengler’s approach and this is evident on Octogen’s widescreen yet menacing electro reshape of Terrence Dixon, the wiry 90s minimalism of Ratio and in the alternate version of Secret Cinema’s chord-heavy early 90s classic “Timeless Altitude”.

In between these sounds, Fengler proves his technical prowess, moving effortlessly from the drones and broken beats of Dr Walker’s take on Byteone and the Regis version of Tommy Four Seven’s “G” into straighter, albeit bass-heavy techno and house from Duplex –  remixing Gerd – and LB Dub Corp, who delivers a new, multi-layered take on Fengler’s own “Thwack”. Put simply, Fengler has that rare talent that most DJs lack –  he can put together seemingly disparate tracks without losing the flow. It explains why, as it climaxes, Berghain 05 shifts from Claude Young’s deep techno into Vril’s stomping “UV” or why the chord-heavy Skudge contribution sits so seamlessly beside Reaganz’s glitchy house, the soaring bass of 20/20 Vision’s unforgettable “Future Remembrance” and the eerie synth melodies of the brittle electro on ERP’s “Vapor Pressure”. The club he resides at provides Fengler with a blank canvas and this mix is his masterpiece.

Richard Brophy