Expert sound engineer Tobias Freund will release A Series Of Shocks, his second album under his Tobias. moniker, on the Ostgut Ton label at the end of March. If you dig deep into Freund’s musical background, which extends way back to the mid-’80s, you’ll find he not only had a hand in post-production duties on Function’s debut album Incubation (not so surprising) but also worked for the likes of Boney M (very surprising indeed) and Meat Loaf (…!). Just like the title of its 2011 predecessor, Leaning Over Backwards, which referenced Wire’s ‘Single K.O.’, A Series Of Shocks was also inspired by lyrics from a disparate songwriter, in this instance one David Robert Jones, who is best known by his stage name, David Bowie. Freund explained recently that Bowie’s line “A series of shocks” (from ‘Up The Hill Backwards’) tied in perfectly with his idea: “to make a raw and dark techno album”. Freund has previously released albums under such pseudonyms as Pink Elln, Zoon and with Max Loderbauer as nsi., and it is no surprise that Loderbauer makes an appearance on ‘Entire’, the opening track of A Series Of Shocks. From this point of departure, Freund embarks on an hour-odd journey through techno constructed via analogue synthesisers and intricate sampling that will enthral techno purists and Berghain fanboys (who should head straight for the track ‘He Said’), and indeed anyone who wants to gorge themselves upon “raw and dark techno”.
The mysterious German producer Sebastian Kramer, AKA Redshape, will headline Sonido at The Civic Underground on Saturday March 1 with a live set. Renowned for wearing a decidedly creepy red mask that wouldn’t be out of place adorning the killer in a 1970s slasher flick – think Dario A’argento, Tobe Hooper etc. – Redshape’s identity was a mystery at the time of his first release under the moniker back in ’06, ‘2084’/‘ULTRA’, and remained unknown when he released his debut LP, The Dance Paradox, which was met with a strong positive critical response that was characterised by such buzzwords as ‘cinematic’, ‘technically astute’ and a throwback to the warm ‘analogue’ sounds of yesteryear – dem bad old good old days. Crafting productions that subtly conjure the Detroit techno zeitgeist and releasing on Delsin, Gerd Janson’s Running Back imprint and his own Present label, Kramer’s stature has continued to grow in the dance world, and his identity has now become public knowlege. “The mask kind of developed to its very own thing,” Kramer stated retrospectively, adding: “It is for sure a ‘love-hate’ relationship I have with it; it competes for attention when I not always want it, or at least not in that way.” Kramer’s second LP, Square, dropped in 2012, and cemented his standing as a dexterous producer who is able to create music for home listening and the club environment, weaving together ambient passages inspired by auteurs like Eno and Robert Fripp with more robust, dancefloor-focused cuts. Kramer has also completed remixes of Ellen Allien, Martyn and Norman Nodge over the past few years, all the while striving to preserve a “close connection to that inner fire which made me love music and want to create; that’s where all the voodoo of a good production lies.”
German DJ/producer Dana Ruh, who is the co-owner of the Brouqade label, has been ‘bubbling under’ for a while now, releasing EPs on highly regarded labels such as the aforementioned Ostgut Ton, Buzzin’ Fly and Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels cash cow, while her collaborations with compatriot Andre Galluzzi on his Aras label piqued the interest of yours truly. With such a commendable discography under her belt, not to mention DJ appearances at fabric and Panorama Bar, Ruh has recently taken the next step in any producer’s career and completed her debut LP, Naturally. It will be released through Jus-Ed’s Underground Quality label, with the label head honcho also appearing on the album. Made up of 11 tracks, each comprised of smooth, deep house soundscapes, Naturally is an album that captures Ruh’s creed of creating and sharing: “Music that moves me and that gives me the possibility to create a nice journey”. Released on Saturday February 1, Naturally is currently available for your listening consumption – so go forth and check it out, inquisitive readers.
Saturday February 8
Saturday February 22
Damiano von Erckert
The Civic Underground
The Civic Underground
Sunday March 2