It’s been seven years since Michaela Dippel aka Ada released her debut album Blondie, but the wait is worth it. Since her first album, techno has veered from the stuttering, echo-heavy ping-pong rhythms of mnml to the earnest drones of classic/Berghain-style techno. It is into this often-monochrome world that Ada delivers an album’s worth of therapeutic electronic music for tired ears and feet. There is only one dance floor track on Meine Zarten Pfoten – “At The Gate” – but even here, the tub-thumping beats quickly lapse into passage dominated by serene piano keys. Elsewhere, ambient arrangements dominate the landscape; “Interlude” is based on soft-focus sounds, these textures populated by flute sound, gentle guitars and hushed vocals, while “On The Mend” is dominated by folksy guitar strummings.
That’s not to suggest that Meine Zarten Pfoten is slight or inconsequential: while “Happy Birthday” shuffles to a shimmering rhythm the doubled up vocals intoning the title are nothing if not catchy, while “Likely” follows a similar approach, its folksy, French sounding arrangement dominated by an infectious ‘happy or sad’ refrain. Ada also clearly knows how to write a pop song: “The Jazz Singer”, with its plucked strings and waifish vocals, sounds like an update of a burlesque standard. However, the song that shows Ada’s real talent for song writing is “Faith”; underscored by beautifully melancholic guitars, her smoky vocals intone the immortal line ‘if you’re blue, don’t let it worry you, you’ll make it through’. It’s the perfect techno torch song and will endure, long after the latest trend has died off.