Tin Man, Acid Test 01


“Sunset” by Yochai Matos

[Absurd Recordings]


Buy Vinyl

Johannes Auvinen, best known as Tin Man, is the ultimate techno drifter. He’s wandered geographically (from Los Angeles to Vienna) and sonically (from twisted post-apocalyptic Chicago etudes to acid-tinged synth pop), and he’s never been particularly choosy about his passport (he followed an EP for techno mainstay Cheap by one for outré-indie boutique label White Denim). For an artist so in line with our handcrafted, old-school-obsessed moment, Auvinen is hardly a major player in the zeitgeist. His invisibility might be a shame for dance music, but I’m guessing being “neglected” suits the eternally downtrodden Tin Man just fine.

But mark my words: the mystery won’t last through 2011. It can’t. His latest 12″, this time for LA-based Absurd Recordings as part of their new Acid Test series, is just too good. It would be an incredible record if only for “Nonneo,” a new Tin Man joint which is brighter, punchier, and more floor-ready than practically any other record in his discography. But the fact that Donato Dozzy, the Italian techno shaman and elite member of mnml ssgs’ spank bank, has supplied a remix of “Nonneo” — one which transforms the original into one of the most otherworldy instrumentals to grace my inbox in a few minutes — seems destined to shine a very bright light on one of techno’s palest denizens.

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“Nonneo” hardly even plays like a Tin Man track: gone are the nihilistic vibes, the creeping sense of dread, and, most noticeably, the severely out-of-it vocals that have been the hallmark of his last three releases. Build around a tantalizing and surprisingly emotive bass line — acid enough to qualify for inclusion in a 12″ series dedicated to the stuff, but heaps smoother than so many of today’s throwback tracks — “Nonneo” swells with colorful details. Anyone familiar with “Constant Confusion” must think I’m pulling their leg, but should Tin Man’s creation hang around until summer it may find itself soundtracking many a long and humid evening. “Accumulated Acid” feels like the perfect morning-after accompaniment to whatever party introduced you to “Nonneo”: merging the Trax back catalog with Brian Eno’s greatest ambient hits, it sounds like a sunrise you’ve long been awaiting.

On the flip lives Dozzy’s “Nonneo” rework, and you’d be forgiven for putting the needle to it first: Dozzy and Tin Man aren’t exactly a match made in heaven, but something about the combination immediately sets a techno fanboy’s mind aflutter. It’s unfortunate that Dozzy didn’t get his hands one of Tin Man’s vocal cuts, but he’s found a world of trippiness in “Nonneo”‘s bass line, which he milks to maximum hallucinatory effect. The remix neither bests the original nor falls short of it, instead providing a minimalist and thoroughly in-the-zone contrast that at times sounds more Tin Man than the man himself does at the moment. But with a release as good as this one, Johannes Auvinen has plenty to smile about. The year is quite young, but I for one already have a favorite record.

chrisdisco  on January 18, 2011 at 2:30 AM

I’m pretty sure this is an old track of tin man’s, hence the reason it sounds a bit different from his recent output.

Not sure why you think “Dozzy and Tin Man aren’t exactly a match made in heaven” – they seem like very logical partners..

rook  on January 18, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Not bad release but dont think ill be getting the vinyl copy..

winkles  on January 18, 2011 at 8:05 AM

A match made in heaven indeed for me, can’t wait

littlewhiteearbuds  on January 18, 2011 at 10:34 AM

How do you know it’s old, Chris?

chrisdisco  on January 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM

from memory dozzy told me when he first did the remix.

regardless if you go listen to tin man’s earlier stuff, there is a very strong acid component, and given that dozzy also uses acid a lot (and he owns two 303s!), the pairing is a very logical one.

HISSNLISSN  on January 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The year is quite young, but I for one already have a favorite record review.

(Disagree about the match made in heaven thing, though – like Chris said, they’re a more than logical pairing here and it shows.)

Moreacidplease  on January 18, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Nonneo was produced around 8 months ago while Johannes was living in Shanghai.

littlewhiteearbuds  on January 18, 2011 at 11:58 AM

There you have it, folks!

Max Cherry  on January 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM

I think we all learned an important lesson here:

don’t enter the spank bank ‘less you wanna get came on.

Jordan Rothlein  on January 18, 2011 at 12:19 PM

By “not necessarily a match made in heaven,” I meant that in my mind, Dozzy and Tin Man aren’t the most obvious fit. While both are undoubtedly techno and underground, and while both fit quite well together, they come at their music from rather different places, and I’m not sure I would have made the psychedelic connection had I been tasked with finding a remixer for Tin Man. Sure, both artists have long drawn from acid, but they get very different results from this influence. (While use of the 303 certainly makes Dozz and Tin Man distant cousins, I would dispute that owning the same piece of equipment forges an immediate stylistic bond between two very different producers!) I guess for me, “very logical” means one can quickly jump from A to B, and I wanted to convey that I didn’t see this remix coming.

HISSNLISSN  on January 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Solid defense. Perhaps what’s happened here is that it makes perfect sense in hindsight.

wiz  on January 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM

its moving feelings for me,i like it ,i will buy it

James  on January 18, 2011 at 5:27 PM

This is fantastic – like STL’s Silent State on PCP! Really trippy and what a bassline!!

chrisdisco  on January 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Tin Man was in China? FUCK! If I had known that, I would have tried to get him over to Japan!

As for whether they seem like an obvious fit or not, I think if you listen to the early Tin Man stuff you can hear pretty clear how it would fit with Dozz…

http://www.discogs.com/Tin-Man-Acid-Acid/release/568482

http://www.discogs.com/Tin-Man-Love-Sex-Acid/release/794128

http://www.discogs.com/Tin-Man-Keys-Of-Life-Acid/release/795521

charlie  on January 19, 2011 at 2:44 AM

I’m totally in love with this. will it get a digital release?

mark  on January 21, 2011 at 9:31 PM

FUCKING ACID~!!!1!

Pillua  on January 23, 2011 at 12:27 PM

wonderful, wonderful record.

scott  on January 24, 2011 at 4:35 PM

really really like this!

134340  on February 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Upon first listen I put this record back on the shelf (albeit a little reluctantly) and then the shopkeeper put it on the big system and I immediately turned around to correct my previous mistake. So simple in its approach yet so undeniable.

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