Julius Steinhoff/Oskar Offermann, Faces #6


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Julius Steinhoff and Oskar Offermann sharing a 12″. Not much of surprise, is it? Based in Hamburg and Berlin, respectively, the artists have many ties. Last year, for instance, Offermann remixed Moomin’s “Sweet Sweet” for Steinhoff’s Smallville imprint. And to state the obvious, the pair’s individual styles are highly complimentary, too. Both have a propensity for sleek, basics-are-best house. In saying that, Offermann’s cut — found on the B-side of Faces #6 — may be the most extravagant he’s released yet.

Stretching out for nine glorious minutes and driven by a palpitating low end, “Drive Me Home Please” is best described as “epic,” a particularly appropriate tag given Offermann’s structure: the first half of the track devoted to 80s-style synth stabs and the second to something else entirely. The two portions are woven together via an electronic flute breakdown, one which culminates in complete silence. Listening blind, the reaction could easily be, “Nice track, nice ending.” Then it all starts again. First, the chugging, funky bass returns, followed by the 808 percs. It’s not until six minutes in, however, that steel drums and singing strings miraculously enter, uplifting the track to its joyous apex. If “Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance!!” and “Coma Cat” got down and dirty, this meeker offspring would be the result. That is to say, a track which clubbers, DJs and the whole world will have loved to death in several months’ time.

It’s no easy task to stand alongside such an obvious anthem, but Steinhoff holds his own comfortably. What’s astounding is that he does so with such a comparatively modest cut, “Up Above” being the kind of understated thing people would have expected to find on both sides of the record. Its main talking point is a simple vocal sample, which in the hands of a poorer producer, might have been construed as a token shot at injecting “soul.” Not so here. Apart from the sample’s sparing placement, the deliberate melodic “answers” that follow reveal a more genuine streak. With a plush analog bass sequence dominating the proceedings, it feels like a more jacking version of Dionne’s “Back on the Planet.” It may only be the first month of 2012, but it seems certain that come December, Faces #6 will be an object of fond reminiscence for list-makers. If it hasn’t been loved to death, that is.

WLT  on February 1, 2012 at 6:36 AM

2nd half really takes it somewhere else.

Adam Lundberg // Geography Records  on February 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Hats of to Steinhoff and Offermann, stunning release!

heaney  on February 2, 2012 at 4:54 PM

great stuff!!!!

dj jus_ed  on February 4, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Very nice!

MANTU  on February 23, 2012 at 6:30 AM

great release – love the sound. More Oskar please 😉


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