Cio D’or, Magnetfluss

[Prologue Recordings]

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As one of the most prominent names in that supposed “headfuck techno” movement, Cio D’Or’s music was by definition weird, but there were always surges of melody pumping headstrong through her beats. No matter how experimental or psychedelic her excellent debut album Die Faser became, there were usually easy grasping points to be found. The German producer makes a welcome return to experimental techno label Prologue with a new EP that strips those moments of accessibility away and leaves behind an empty shell of sound design that has as much in common with film soundtracking as dance music.

Take opener and title track “Magnetfluss,” where a crackle of a beat attempts to coalesce in the midst of eerie drones and industrial hum. It never quite coheres, instead hobbling along on its demented limp before fading out completely: that’s the kind of thing we’re dealing with here. The EP’s next two tracks deal with more conventional structures, but they’re still unsettlingly empty: “Wirbelkraft” has a bobbing techno thump that feels like it’s floating in a vacuum, with fleeting melodies that seep into the background rather than seize the forefront. “Wasserkraft” plays similar sound politics, layering a jittery beat over drawn-out, half-speed chords for a truly disorienting effect that almost justifies the “headfuck” tag. The EP closes with another chunk of dissolute and desolate techno, like the shards of a broken banger attempting to re-assemble themselves and falling over in a pool of dub delay. It’s ascetic, hollowed-out techno, but it takes D’or’s sound in a welcome new direction. If the kind of swirling, heady techno she made her name on has become a bit of a cliche in itself, this new and challenging material is anything but.

petesrdic  on October 27, 2011 at 1:54 AM

Definitely not one to miss. Cio has released some wonderful tracks here. Sure, most not immediate attention grabbers, but like much of her productions, these need to be approached with an open mind & ears and the rewards are there for the enjoying. Excellent EP. Bravo Cio !

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