Mike Dehnert, Umlaut 2

[Clone Basement Series]

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When the Clone label announced it was turning the lights out earlier this year it was a sad day for techno/electro obsessives like myself. But as it turns out the label’s death has been greatly exaggerated, or at least has pumped creative spirit into other, more focused areas. The result so far has been a steady stream of releases on what might be called “boutique” sub-labels such as the Club Series, Loft Supreme Series, West Coast Series and the Jack For Daze Series; all fall under the Clone banner while each concentrates on a specific style of electronic music. Confused yet? Well just this past month they unveiled one more imprint called the Clone Basement Series, keying in on hard-boiled dance tracks. Based on that criterion it makes sense to find Tresor resident Mike Dehnert in charge of the first release.

Dehnert’s work on his own Fachwerk label has clearly been directed towards mining the techno soil for the core purpose of producing raw, no-nonsense club music. “Umlaut 2” (originally released on the MDRL EP from 2008) veers towards more dubby techno territory and here it gets the remix treatment twice over from Dehnert himself. On “Umlaut 2 (First Version)” he utilizes a melodic phrasing strikingly similar to one used on the recent Umluft 12″ track “One,” but by extending it by a full note he gives the track a fullness that compliments the version’s quasi-house beat. “Umlaut (New Version)” probes the original’s dub elements more fully, using a plated synth vamp to guide the track through an ebb and flow of tumbling percussive hits. But it’s Levon Vincent’s take on the track that truly elevates the release to a higher level. Naming it the “NY Basement Mix,” Vincent reinterprets the piece as an effects-riddled house mind fuck. The synth melody sits front and center with a siren-like timbre to compliments the stoic chords. The layers start to progressively build as a micro sampled vocal gets pitch shifted and worked into the jacking rhythm onslaught. The snare slaps and hi-hats set a solid pace while the shaker percussion gets stretched and flanged until it becomes a galloping jet engine. It’s not unlike the raw style of house music that put Chicago on the map. Dehnert’s efforts may have been outshined by Vincent here, but if recent live sets at Berghain and Tresor that have been floating around are anything to go by Dehnert has plenty of fresh ammo ready to be unleashed.

harpomarx42  on September 17, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Levon Vincent’s mix FOR THE FREAKING WIN.

ray  on September 19, 2009 at 10:34 PM

damn that remix nearly took my head off. best decapitation ever.

Peder  on September 21, 2009 at 6:24 AM

actually prefer the “first version”, kinda like a less irritating version of dj qu’s “buzz”. anyway, solid record all round, clone churning out the quality ish at the moment, even if these sublabels almost all have daft names…

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