Benedikt Frey, Seven Corridors

ken sortais
Artwork by Ken Sortais

[Love Pain Sunshine & Rain]


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To my ears, the music Benedikt Frey has made under his own name since 2012 has its roots in Love Pain Sunshine & Rain, an overlooked but excellent 12″ for Rotary Cocktail from 2010. In collaboration with Eidner, the German producer turned his back on the serviceable tech-house he’d been releasing as Suedmilch in favor of a more organic, free-flowing aesthetic. Over time Frey has thoroughly revised this first draft, fully owning his own sound on records released by Live At Robert Johnson and Mule Electronic under his given name. Seven Corridors, the second release on his own imprint, also named Love Pain Sunshine & Rain, contains some of his most intrepid work yet — a wealth of textures and unpredictably shifting grooves.

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The title track is the boldest expression of Frey’s focus on timbre and atmosphere, from the bone-crushing stomp of his piston-fired percussion to the metallic edges of chords ripping into new tones, their resistance accounting for their capricious timing. Stomach-rumbling bass and a skyward drone are fairly constant throughout, but other elements make their way in and out without warning, whether the radioactive glow of a staggering 303 or mallets wandering across a marimba. It circles around listeners with dispassionate grace, like clouds of gas swirling around the angry red eye of Jupiter. “Geranos” is similarly shifty in texture but more resolute in construction, pursuing a relentless groove through a swamp of chirping and humming synth lines. Cutting hi-hat patterns and a kick/tambourine pairing keep listeners from getting tangled, as the groove rules all. While hopeful synth horns and bounding toms give “Ariadne’s Thread” a more conventional foundation, their movements, along with sing-songy organ chords, defy expectations. Only the dominance of the 303 in the track’s latter third suggests Frey has overplayed his hand, and even there it’s thoughtfully constrained to a cameo. Despite their quirky arrangements, all three tracks from Seven Corridors are exceptional DJ fodder, as well; the hugeness of the sounds take over a space, waxing and waning as grist for ear catching blends. Benedikt Frey’s stylistic shift has led him down truly exciting paths thus far; I hope he doesn’t lose his nerve any time soon.

JC  on October 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Such heat! Still a copy of this floatin’ around the bins at Gramaphone :)

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds October Charts 2013 – Little White Earbuds  on November 1, 2013 at 12:03 AM

[…] Benedikt Frey, “Seven Corridors” [Love Pain Sunshine & Rain] (buy) 07. TCB, “Monogamie” [Die Orakel] (buy) 08. Tin […]

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