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Delta Funktionen/Various – Inertia: Resisting Routine review

The people who got to know Niels ‘Delta Funktionen’ Luinenberg through his ponderous Electromagnetic Radiation release or the adeptly programmed warm-up sets posted online may be surprised by the approach on Inertia. However, its direction could hardly be described as unexpected. The second volume of Electromagnetic Radiation and the grimy warehouse techno of Silhouette make perfectly clear that the Dutch DJ/producer likes to play it hard as well as deep. In that regard, Niels is not alone, and this mix, which consists solely of exclusive material, shows that a whole new wave of European techno producers is on the same wavelength.

The mixture of the musical and forceful is audible from the outset, with textured chords unfolding over an angular rhythm on Sascha Rydell’s “Rainy Days”, a few tracks later as Cosmin TRG does his best mid to late 90s Ian Pooley techno impersonation over a rolling, warm bass and midway through on Peter Van Hoesen’s “Last One at 1080”, where evocative but eerie pads build to the backdrop of a prowling groove.

In other instances, Luinenberg dispenses with the musical approach and focuses on pure rhythm tracks. From the bleeping austerity of Sawlin’s “Excipidial” to the grungy rumble of Ozka’’s “Square Beauty” through the punishing percussion of Marcelus’s “24/7” and the searing broken beats of Lucy and the militaristic stomp on Area Forty One’s “CNTCT”, much of Inertia is unflinchingly bleak but wholly captivating nonetheless. In case the listener forgot about the flipside, Niels drops spacey synths, which envelope the rolling, dub rhythm of “Torpor”. It’s a stunning finish to a mix that effortlessly balances the hard and the soulful.

Richard Brophy