Berlin producer Mike Dehnert’s second artist album in as many years will probably not win any awards for its imaginative title, but once the needle drops, there is no end of surprises. The most remarkable aspect of Fachwerk 25 is that it sounds unlike anything else he has released. This is especially surprising given that he had come close to perfecting the art of creating grungy, Chain Reaction-influenced techno, but it is crucial that he did so as his releases had started to sound samey.
Indeed, the greatest strength of this long player is that it sounds like many things, but the one thing that it only occasionally sounds like is a Fachwerk record. There are austere but brief codas on “Intro” (another great name!) and “STH”, while Dehnert proves himself to be an unlikely fan of Italo and minimal wave with the pulsing grooves and eerie synths of “Fraction” and “Modulat”.
He also gets on board the acid train on “Resize” and “Slim” but thankfully doesn’t attempt to recreate jack tracks, instead favouring a dalliance through rough rhythms. Speaking of underground techno, he shows his appreciation for the noisy, distorted end of minimalism once practised so effortlessly by Landstrum and Vogel on the wonky rhythm and analogue yelps of “Grundform”, rather than the spacious dub rhythms of Basic Channel. But while Fachwerk 25 celebrates electronic music’s past, it also sees Dehnert escape from his own musical inhibitions, and as the evocative ambient textures of “Courant” demonstrate, it is at times a painfully beautiful parting of ways.
5. Fachwerk 25