Âme, Setsa/Ensor


Buy Vinyl
Buy MP3s

Unlike many contemporary producers, Karlsruhe-based duo Âme do not seem particularly attached to the methods and aesthetics that have brought them critical and popular acclaim. There have been no variations on their international breakthrough, “Rej,” or retreads of “Where You At” territory, even though doing either could have meant broader notoriety. Rather, Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann are committed to not repeating themselves, which means each new platter is a stylistic surprise. Their principled approach has not come without a few puzzled looks — “Fiori” in particular caught some listeners off guard with triplet clusters and lush, proto-techno orchestration — but it’s certainly solidified the group’s fan base and positioned them at the cutting edge of electronic dance music. Yet even those who welcome their curve balls may be surprised by the organic rawness of “Setsa/Ensor,” Ame’s challenging new single.

As with the bulk of Âme’s discography, “Setza” and “Ensor” are massive compositions that threaten to crush dancers under their ornate girth.Traditional instruments utilized in unconventional ways lend a great deal of presence to both tunes. You can just picture celloists and violinists sawing away as their sharp, deliberate strokes puncture the simmering calm of “Setza,” or trombonists and trumpeters growing red in the face as their ascending pitches in “Ensor” blur like speed lines. Âme eschew studio luster in favor of leaving rough edges exposed, and at times “Setza” can set listeners’ teeth on edge. Still, the boisterous string cavalry, assorted voices (operatic outbursts, unearthly growls, indistinct whines), clangorous drumming and purring synth lines of “Setza” make for a bruising good time. “Ensor” is a relentless builder, its long, flickering fuse lit by a gruff bass guitar line. Marimba and piano chords, played as if by boots pounding the pavement, join the fray to push the tune to the precipice of suspense. Skyward horns lift “Ensor” off the dance floor to survey the writhing masses below, only to crash back down in a triumphant return to form. Âme’s restless creativity continually impresses as they scrape away at popular perceptions of what dance music can be. Those who cannot wrap their heads around this intrepid advance can take comfort in the still viable permutations they’ve left behind.

hutlock  on May 5, 2009 at 9:41 AM

Just bought this last Friday and it hasn’t left my turntable. Smashing.

Todd  on May 5, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Steve, this is exactly what I want to hear, thanks doggie.

amekristian  on May 5, 2009 at 5:08 PM

thank you for the nice words. i felt really deeply moved by them!

kristian from ame

chris  on May 5, 2009 at 7:56 PM

didn’t know what to make of this release at first, and now i’m loving it.

innervisions is on a roll this year (though when are they not?).

charlie  on May 5, 2009 at 8:28 PM

really liking both these tracks, going to play Ensor out for the first time on friday.

amefrank  on May 6, 2009 at 2:54 AM

the same from me, steve.
thanks for the review!
frank (also ame)

Tsiridis  on May 6, 2009 at 4:48 AM

Loving this, the other side is my favourite though!

Alex  on May 6, 2009 at 8:12 AM

Yeah, another great single! I’m really glad I purchased the Innervisions subscription package! Best choice ever!

yael bee  on May 7, 2009 at 4:05 AM

waow!what a great review!the style of the writing is rich.Moreover,I agree with it all.Ame’s restless creativity continually impresses.Always.Hopefully forever.

Sam  on May 7, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Ha ha! The picture you chose for this review is spot on! I only noticed it at about 6 min into the track, in the breakdown when the “horns” start sounding. Nice stuff…

barry  on May 8, 2009 at 7:07 AM

havnt heard either in full yet, id imagine in a club is where it needs to be heard, but not feeling the snippets ive heard.


Little White Earbuds May Charts - Little White Earbuds  on June 4, 2009 at 10:08 PM

[…] Âme, “Ensor” [Innervisions] (buy) 07. DJ Koze, “Mrs. Bojangels” [Circus Company] (buy) 08. Baby […]

Popular posts in review

  • None found