To many, Ben Klock is techno. Given his lengthy CV, this is hardly surprising. LWE sat down with Klock in New York to talk about the ’90s, the warmth of Berghain techno and his dad’s experience at the club.
Ostgut Ton has always been about placing techno and house above the fray, and that’s precisely where Berghain 04 is simmering. Ben Klock has given us a commercial-free statement on techno executed artfully.
When I saw that Ben Klock had been commissioned to remix Jason Fine, my gut reaction was to flinch in discomfort. After all, the Berghain resident’s music isn’t really known for its sense of romance or emotion, and here he was reworking a track from of the most seductively introspective electronic music albums of recent years.
Dutchman Martijn Deykers has made a sizable impression on electronic music over the past two years with a striking run of singles and remixes under the moniker Martyn that helped to shed light on the burgeoning disparities within dubstep. This was crowned by his debut full length album which dropped at the start of 2009; Great Lengths had instant classic stamped all over it and this was reflected by its high placed status in end of year lists and polls. A DJ for many years, his music production career started out with drum & bass releases for Marcus Intalex’s Revole:r label, before side-winding into dubstep after the release of his “Broken/Shadowcasting” 12″ in 2007. Ever exploring new territory, Great Lengths also hinted at an affinity for house and techno, a penchant which is also mirrored in his DJ sets. LWE spoke to Martyn while he was on tour in Canada about his new Fabric mix, the inspiration of environment, and the development of his harder side.
It seems once again artists have looked past shriveling album sales and pooh poohed format worries while creating a truly outstanding crop of longplayers. Whether exploring the sinews connecting electronic music and jazz, amalgamating traditional African and house sounds, gearing up a set of club bangers or diving into unknown recesses in listeners’ heads, the 10 albums LWE’s reviewing staff chose represent the best 2009 had to offer.
Sandwell District have been making acerbic waves in the techno scene for a couple of years now, and in 2009 it’s common knowledge that if you want proper techno you’d best head to Sandwell. Given that every one of this year’s SD releases, aside from Silent Servant’s fantastic “Negative Fascinations,” has been technically a remix, the choice to abandon the usual procession of catalog numbers in favor of the new “SDRM” code for this new 12″ of remixes is a surprise. Regardless, Berghain favorites Ben Klock and Norman Nodge are on deck to reshape Function’s massive “Disaffected” while anonymous Sandwell insider, CH-Signal Laboratories lends their hands to continue the Variance remix project from earlier this year.
It may seem like a long time to allow six months to pass since the release of your album before issuing a remix package, but given the strength of the three remixes here I would imagine OstGut Ton and Ben Klock knew exactly what they were doing. For “Remixes” he enlists the expertise of an older generation of producers to interpret his tracks (admittedly the identity of Sandwell District, who appears here as an artist rather than the label, is presently still debatable) and that wealth of knowledge shines through.
The early bird hype on One hinted it was very self-consciously an “album.” Some suggested Ben Klock had discarded the Berghain-tested stompers that made his name for a more mature sound, perhaps even an attempt at a grand artistic statement. Alarm bells rang: What this often means is an album with a couple of killer tracks at best and a lot of filler. Surely Klock hadn’t gone soft and released an album of downbeat noodlings and scrappy experiments?
[Klockworks] (buy vinyl) (buy mp3s) Since its launch in 2006, Ben Klock’s Klockworks label/series has been a reliable venue for the Berghain resident’s most Spartan, DJ-geared tracks. Each subsequent release contained fewer elements, a shrinking tonal palette and a singular focus on bone-crunching grooves. “Klockworks 04,” in kind, is perhaps the most utilitarian yet, almost […]
Chart courtesy of The Economist. 01. Intrusion, The Seduction of Silence [echospace [detroit]] (buy) Dub reggae has long been the lens through which Stephen Hitchell (Soultek, cv313, Echospace) has interpreted techno music, and with the Intrusion project those influences step to the forefront of his production style. His gorgeous debut album, The Seduction of Silence, […]
[Klockworks] Ben Klock’s Klockworks moniker/label rarely comes out to play, emerging only once a year since 2006 to showcase the Berghain resident’s experimentally-minded techno tracks. The first paired the dribbling pitches and gulping vocals of “Glimmerman (Part One)” with the slightly more raving “Glandula Piti.” The starkness of the second’s “Onyx” and glancing tones of […]
Graphic via The Economist 01. Ben Klock, “October” [BPitch Control] (buy) No rest for the wicked, it seems, as Ben Klock drops another heavy one on fans with “October.” Like a ghost in an aggressive, pounding machine, the title track’s melody billows upwards and is zapped into place by laser precise synth strokes. “Similarity” relishes […]