André Lodemann, Still Dreaming

[Freerange Records]

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You get the sense that André Lodemann’s ears aren’t made from the same stuff that yours are. Producing since 2004 but really picking up speed in 2009 with his self-released output on Best Works, Lodemann has a way of rendering strange, tiny melodies into much catchier, dreamier, bigger components than they might fundamentally be. His definition of a hook, not to mention his sense of pacing and melodic development, might not be yours, but his level of execution — from a technical standpoint, dude’s biting at Martin Buttrich’s heels — and sheer earnestness go a long way towards selling you on such wacky deep house logic. Derided as cheesy by some, Lodemann rivals Reggie Dokes as one of house’s most idiosyncratically appealing voices. The aptly named “Still Dreaming” for Freerange, perhaps his highest-profile release since the Wanna Feel EP on Simple in 2008, brings to the big room those mystical, meandering melodies Lodemann spent 2009 perfecting. He’s made one of the more distinctive European house anthems in recent memory.

“Still Dreaming” is all about contrast, pairing the shimmering, warped atmosphere of earlier Best Works highlights like “Where Are You Now?” with the hard-edged synths of so many C2 remixes. Like Lewis Carroll’s logically nonsensical poem “Jabberwocky,” Lodemann feeds us his musical mishmash so convincingly that at first brush we might not realize how little sense these sounds actually make together. Despite occasionally veering (some might say dangerously) close to electro-house pomposity, “Still Dreaming” consciously keeps all that potential fist-pumping in check. Witness what Lodemann does to those grinding synths: at the height of their steamrolling, he grabs them out from the mix, only letting them punch through in taut, ever-lightening packets. Control becomes the key word here — there’s enough to keep this unlikely groove rolling and show us that he really means business with it, but not too much to fully de-emphasize that unlikeliness.

Soulphiction, the Philpot manager and Perlon alum who continues Lodemann’s tradition of having his work remixed by more famous soundsmiths, turns in a fine, smoothed-out “SP-X-Mix” on the flip. Lodemann’s melody gets wonderfully flipped into a rolling Steve Reich-esque micro-packet of color, but in general the mix does little more than make deep house out of dream house; I can’t help but miss the wackiness of Lodemann’s original. “Whatever I Do” brings together the mood of “Still Dreaming” without its focus or boisterousness — a gorgeous afterthought, but an afterthought nevertheless. If you’re like me, though, you might never flip the record over, so who’s complaining? At a moment in dance music where the formula for deep house anthemics can be stiflingly codified, it’s nice to stumble across a producer like André Lodemann who’s fastidiously tearing it to shreds.

Sibonelo  on February 3, 2010 at 2:32 AM

Love his productions. Looking forward to this one…

cris  on February 4, 2010 at 3:59 AM

if you look behind the solid production of this track, there’s really not much worth mentioning. it’s got
that same old 3-note bass + string-melody that we’ve
all heard a million times before. i’d go so far and say:
maybe effective, but incredibly boring

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