Marcel Dettmann – Deluge review

It is ironic that just as Marcel Dettmann appears to be branching out from the Ostgut stable, through his mix for Music Man and now this EP for 50 Weapons, he comes out his purest, most refined techno record yet. No one is suggesting that the Berghain resident has split with Ostgut or is neglecting his own MDR label, but it is an undeniable fact that no matter what he releases on, classic 90s techno influences form a key part of his musical DNA.

This is audible on “Duel”; functional yet subtle, it owes a debt to the loopy techno of the 90s, caught somewhere between Mills’s Purposemaker releases and the UK variant it spawned, as a dense, filtered groove rolls to a backdrop of tight claps and insistent riffing. This being a 2011 release, the tempo is slower than the records it is influenced by, with the drop in bpms lending “Duel” a mushier, groggier feeling.

“Deluge” on the other hand, is far closer to its source material. A wiry, squelchy serving of  minimal techno, it recalls Dan Bell in pared back, 7th City mode, while its jarring, jack-knifing central riff is every bit as visceral as Robert Hood. Irrespective of where he’s putting out music, the purest sounds are at the core of each Dettmann track.

Richard Brophy