Art by Simone Decker
Way back in the days when mnml was all the rage, Andreas Werner was a reliable choice for well articulated techno that showed respect for dance fashions and rebelled against them at the same time. The Cologne linchpin has had two years out from production, only to bounce back with two new releases this year, one each for Minibar and Hartchef Discos. “A.S.A.P” features the same astute percussion that made Audio Werner’s name, as well as a depth and grace that will be familiar to fans of records like 2004′s “Deep Sheep.”
“Dito” glides along, extracting all the juice and just a little pulp from a few notes of plundering bass line, a poised riff, and a sliced up vocal sample. Familiar territory, but the joy here comes from the deftness of Werner’s touch. “Dito” is nothing but well chosen elements repeated with small and elegant permutations, and immediately calls to mind ephemeral club moments lost from memory. “Ulip” rehashes the same territory. Its sonic world is a touch messier, and despite a slow buildup adding weight towards the end, never congeals enough to gain the same emotional power as the A side. Audio Werner has never been an easy one to pin down. His music displays a uniform individual character, but is never branded with the more gauche signifiers of personality. “Ulip” is a bit of a throwaway, but “Dito” is an unpretentious exploration of those shy, hidden bits of meaning only electronic music can touch on. That it does this in the form of a sophisticated club track free from distracting window dressing only makes things all the sweeter.