Review Summary: Hinterland sees Recondite perfecting his meditative brand of techno and creating compositions that are able to move not only feet, but the heart as well.
After developing his unique and deeply meditative take on acid house for Acid Test, last year, Berlin-based producer Recondite (real name: Lorenz Brunner) kept his gathered momentum steadily going throughout 2013. He continued his acclaimed Plangent series with propulsive remixes from the likes of RNDM and Kassian Troyer, delivered the atmospheric startup EP for the new Swedish label Trolldans and provided Fabric with one of its biggest bangers this year via 'EC10' - amongst other things. In the meantime, he's also been fine-tuning his debut for Ghostly International and claimed it as his first actual artist album. Saying the guy is restless, in this light, seems like bit of an understatement.
You wouldn't guess it from actually listening to Hinterland
, though. The album sounds almost exactly like the picture on its cover: gray and sparse. The music breathes Berlin through and through, as the minimalist aestetic Brunner employs continues along the lines of dub techno pioneers Porter Ricks and the emotive compositions of Pantha du Prince. 'Riant', for example, is just gorgeous in how Brunner uses a single, simple synth pad to invoke maximal response from the listener. The kick of his rudimentary beats is blunt and dim, which gives his compositions room to breathe and wander, rather than interfering with the carefully constructed atmosphere he's displaying throughout the album.
is actually a concept album of sorts. It finds Recondite connecting again with the area he grew up in, and recreating the moodswings of the community as the seasons pass. Not only do the actual track titles reflect this ('Leafs', 'Still', 'Clouded'), but the combination of the changes in tempo Brunner inserts with the more uniform melodical motives on top, enhance the sense that although in this area everything shifts and changes with time, nothing ever really evolves. Melancholy: it's the basis of almost every Recondite track the producer has put out to date, but it's never been as obvious as here.
The result is that Hinterland
is a very personal record, both for the producer as for the listener. These ten tracks are not communal, they are isolating. They are about being awestruck by the ruthlessness and the calmth of nature, about contemplating your place in the world, about temporarily escaping - but not fleeing - from the worries of everyday life. These are all things Brunner experienced during his trips home, or at least, it's what could be inferred after listening to this sculpted time frame of his youth. Above all, though, Hinterland
sees Recondite perfecting his meditative brand of techno and creating compositions that are able to move not only feet, but the heart as well.