Marcel Dettmann, MDR 06

[Marcel Dettmann Records]

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After a banner year in 2008, releasing his first mix CD to widespread acclaim and seeing his profile rise a hundred-fold, Marcel Dettmann has let none of his newfound fame go to his head. He is still innovating, which means that he’s still doing things according to his own rules. The summer’s Deuce record with Shed largely ignored trends and instead demolished them, roughing techno up to a point beyond what many were familiar with. “MDR 06” is his first solo record since the last contribution to his own shadowy Hard Wax-distributed label. Following an extremely stripped back and paranoid (not to mention flat out devastating) remix of Fever Ray’s “Seven,” “MDR 06” doesn’t so much continue Marcel’s sound as refine it.

Opener “Apron” plods along with brushed hi-hats and hollow shells of sound bouncing about, fooling you into thinking there’s some sort of melody but serving primarily as rhythm. “Kernel” steps up to provide that “oh shit” moment of impending doom in the first few seconds when a filter is removed and the track crash lands, pummeling your speakers and testing their bass response. “Rerun” pairs a skipping, skewed sequence with a more typical Dettmann beat while “Tattered” simmers down the sounds of “Twerp Wiz” for the gritty balls-out techno cut of the pack. For someone who seems to always be so cheerful and smiling, this is some seriously menacing and beaten-up techno. Austere doesn’t even come close (last year’s “Lattice” sounds almost obvious compared to this), but after some initial spins things begin to click into place, making “MDR 06” an extremely rewarding record once you break though its tough shell.

Paul S  on October 21, 2009 at 4:21 PM


adamm  on October 27, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Agreed, it seems more a tool than anything, a boring one at that. Definately needs a synth overtop to fill out the track.

Anton  on October 27, 2009 at 11:49 AM

“Apron” is fucking kingly in its complexity, and though the others are a bit blown-speakers it’s exactly what the MDR series is for – reduced tools that compromise to no one.

Chris Miller  on October 27, 2009 at 3:24 PM

There was a similar discussion last year with MDR04, many convinced it was only a tool or exercise in Dettmann’s sound design. “Kernel” had been stuck in my head for weeks; it’s far too addictive and subtle to be a tool. And most of the time I’d rather listen to Dettmann go out on a limb and experiment with sound design than 80% of the records out there.

Alex Weston  on December 27, 2012 at 4:49 AM

Marcel was about 3 years early on this one… this year’s tracks from blawan and AnD followed a similar vein and were never called boring!

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