Improvisation. In house? Sure, DJs do it every night. Move D did it before with Benjamin Brunn on Songs From The Beehive, creating sketches beforehand but recording everything in more or less real time. Plenty of parallels exist between that record and Playtime but none are quite so telling as this. To be frank, I don’t know if the recording of Playtime was actually in real time or improvised, but this is a release whose unfolding seems so natural and human it seems unlikely that it’s the work of automation. Many complain about the lack of musicianship in house and techno, and Playtime serves, in part, as a solid response to such silly claims.
Workshop releases only a few records a year, emphasizing quality over quantity. Luckily for buyers this means each new Workshop record can be bought without hesitation, as there hasn’t been a dud in the bunch. They turn away from whatever may be popular at the time and shoot for longevity, opting for records that reveal themselves over time. After what was, for my money, the best record in the series (the sometimes ethereal, other times ghastly “Workshop 03”), Kassem Mosse steps up once again and give us “Workshop 08,” a contender for the label’s standout release.
“Workshop 07” marks Even Tuell’s first solo EP for Workshop (profiled last year on this site) and known for its left-of-center output. From what we’ve heard in his mix for LWE and his own Airbag Craftworks compilations, Paul-David Rollmann seems to have just as much of a penchant for balm as he does for the sparse beats released on Musik Krause and Broque. In comparison to standout tracks like “Pretty Bonita” and his contribution to “Workshop 04”, “Workshop07” comes as a disappointment.
Headed by Jens Kuhn, known to many as Lowtec, Workshop is as much a label as it is a series of EPs. Since 2006, Lowtec and crew have put out a new EP every few months, each comprising three untitled tracks. Some showcase a single artist (Move D, Kassem Mosse and Lowtec have each commandeered one), while others feature a handful at once. LWE’s current favorite is Workshop 004, a collection of shadowy house tracks by Move D, Even Tuell and Sascha Dive. With its gray aesthetic and cryptic design, Workshop has chiseled a distinct identity and landed a distribution deal with Hard Wax, arguably Berlin’s most respected record shop. Lowtec gives us the lowdown on the snacks that inspired the label’s creation, their stratified demo system, and how smaller release runs could save the vinyl business.
[Workshop] Since 2006, Workshop has released a new EP every six months or so. Sold and distributed by Hard Wax, each EP consists of three untitled tracks, sometimes all by the same artist and sometimes by a varied group. The quality of these releases has been consistently solid: Kassem Mosse’s “Workshop 03” had a stark […]