Marcel Dettmann, Deluge

[50 Weapons]


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Much has been made of the perceived impenetrable and “steely” dourness of Marcel Dettmann productions over the past few years. By contrast, much less has been made of the inherent funk that is equally central to the sound. As a DJ, this has recently been showcased to fine effect on his new Conducted mix (which contains none of his own productions). Here on Modeselector’s 50 Weapons, he delivers two energetic rollers that are among his most blatantly groove laden cuts to date. “Deluge” eschews any aspect of slow build with an arrangement that introduces all central elements to the track within the first 30 seconds. A brisk 135 BPM kick, immaculately engineered beeps and tweaks and some fast claps are the building blocks, but the bass line will surprise anyone expecting his usual sub aquatic boom. Rather, we are presented with a stealthy, measured bounce that feels natural and brings to mind peak-time Soma material.

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“Duel” is an even brisker affair that again cuts straight to the kill. Redolent of Robert Hood in his Floorplan guise — all polished ride symbols and dignified drive — there is even a mild disco flavor that would not seem out of place in a Ben Sims set. The bruising kick is played off against a moving lead synth and what sounds like a highly processed vintage brass stab. By the time the claps join the mix in frantic waves the effect is bludgeoning but not unpleasant. While Marcel Dettmann DJ sets are known for mid-set moments (or should that be hours?) of intuitive abandon, his productions have often been tempered with considerable restraint. Indeed, the fact that he rarely plays out his own work speaks volumes of the contrast between what he makes and what he plays. These tracks consolidate this duality, and in so doing, Dettmann the producer sounds more than ever like Dettmann the DJ: vital, coarse and, yes, still totally uncompromising.

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