Stefan Goldmann, The Transitory State

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With a resume including releases on Perlon, Classic, Ovum, Innervisons, and his own Macro imprint, as well as a reputation for being a clutch DJ, Stefan Goldmann is one of the more pedigreed producers on the scene. Goldmann may be well-respected and popular with listening audiences and other DJs alike, but he hasn’t reached “superstar” level by any means. With that in mind, the release of the two-CD set The Transitory State provides ample evidence both as to why Goldmann deserves to be mentioned in the same breath alongside the shortlist of power players, and why he likely never will be.

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The first disc, Works, is a collection of Goldmann’s vinyl releases dating back to 2005; and it’s here he shows his uniqueness, primarily through his startling, strange and diverse sonic palette. “Lunatic Fringe” fuses a bulbous bounce to a female choir of extraterrestrials; “Radiant Grace” works a classical guitar riff that sounds a bit like the Law & Order theme with a horror-show string run that would make Bernard Hermann proud; “Sleepy Hollow” is a shimmering robot getting down with itself; “Blood” is uptempo funk mayhem, disintegrating discos with a stuttering laser-beam of a riff and clattering percussion. Nothing sounds quite like the next thing, but it’s all united by its utter weirdness and daring inventiveness. These aren’t your standard variety tracks; these are songs set apart from the norm with purpose.

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The headiness continues and is expanded on the second disc, Voices of The Dead (also released as a limited-edition 5×7″ vinyl set), a concept album that “searches for the common root of all music in an electro-acoustic setting.” Roughly translated, that equates to nearly an hour’s worth of bizarre, squirm-inducing “ambient” music, far more suited to a walk through Arkham Asylum than to any chill-out room. Uncomfortable nature aside, you can’t keep your ears off it, as textures burn themselves out under heat lamps and melodies turn themselves inside-out in fun house mirrors. This isn’t background music; this is the soundtrack to a drug-fueled nightmare that’s as brilliant as it is unsettling.

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In terms of fusing the avant garde with the dancefloor, Goldmann is one of the few who consistently gives Villalobos a run for his money. It’s brilliant, challenging work — the kind that doesn’t exactly put you at Sasha and Digweed level. Regardless, as with most capital-A Artists, perhaps Goldmann is just ahead of his time or a mad scientist. In either case, The Transitory State deserves your time and attention.

JonR  on November 26, 2008 at 6:59 AM

getting “error opening file” on all those…

this is my favourite music site right now btw, loving it!

littlewhiteearbuds  on November 26, 2008 at 7:10 AM

Thanks, Jon. We’ll put the clips back up after they’re fixed.

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