Efdemin
Efdemin


4.5
superb

Review

by Chortles USER (13 Reviews)
August 11th, 2017 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: patience

The way I see it, the most stunning part of Phillip Sollmann’s debut, the eponymous Efdemin, lies within its first moments. A quiet, mysterious bell tolls. Once more, a higher pitch – then, back to the original tone. A simple beat enters, and the bell pattern continues over it. That’s it. Nothing, right" What makes this opening passage gripping is the burning, impermeable near-silence created by the resonance which divides each chime. It’s full of dread, anticipation, and intrigue; it gives the impression that there is something urgent to be heard down the line. And there is – though it never reaches the resolution we want. A churning bass and disquieting vibraphone melody soon join in to supplement that original motif over repeated measures, heightening a muted anxiety until eventually, one last chime brings it to a sudden halt.

I find this kind of immediate poignancy quite unusual in music, a medium which often relies on time in order to prompt an emotional response, but it just makes sense here. Efdemin is an electronic album built around negative space, utilizing moments of reticence to string up subtle tension – not only in “Knocking at the Grand”, that breathtaking opener – but consistently throughout its run-time. Sollmann is comfortable playing with and stretching this taut line very slowly to its limit, which is probably why the album ends up being a somewhat long ordeal, clocking in at a hefty 72 minutes. It is a calculated length, though; Sollmann is smart enough to ride every tap, shake, tick and clap to the maximum, ensuring each rhythm has fully ingrained itself in our heads before beginning to add and subtract other elements.

Efdemin is a deeper sort of techno that takes clear influence from ‘90s house heroes, evidenced by Sollmann’s emphasis on groove above all else. It takes a page from the meditative side of things without going overboard, providing enough variety in tone to make each slight twist and turn more exciting than they ought to be. There are more straightforward affairs, like the deep bass swirls and spaced-out synth explorations in “Further Back,” but Sollmann proves to be quite good at subverting expectations in other places; in the first few minutes of “Salix Alba,” it sounds like a quiet rave building up to some inevitably fiery end, but he instead opts to pull back into a smooth, understated groove to carry the midsection along. “Lohn und Brot” does the exact opposite, building over a precisely layered, trance inducing melody until suddenly, the beat is set to the side and the pearly gates open for a cathartic synth eruption. It’s jaw-dropping, but truthfully, instances this overt are rare here. What Efdemin excels at most is providing the consistently sublime moments that you don’t always realize are happening – keeping your head bobbing and feet moving, regardless of its frequent shifts in tone and dynamics.

With all this, Sollmann manages to balance the free, loose groove of his forefathers and his own measured sense of control with panache, giving Efdemin a unique voice among its late 2000s counterparts. It is certainly a slow burner, but those who are patient enough to let it seep into them will find it hard to let out again.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Chortles
August 10th 2017


20971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this guy is 2 slept on here



"knocking at the grand": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L99knD07cUk

Digging: Dave DK - Val Maira

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2017


1997 Comments


I think you mean "it is *a* calculated length" but that's really minor.

your writing is so good; pos'd and i'm checking this out now :~~~~)

Chortles
August 10th 2017


20971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ur my hero. thanks so much for the fix and for the nice words!! hope u diglet boi

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2017


1997 Comments


maaan i bet i'll dugtrio this hard

hal1ax
August 10th 2017


10266 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review brotha

pos

BlushfulHippocrene
August 10th 2017


2132 Comments


Your reviews feel so simultaneously calculated and expressive, it's immensely impressive. This sounds very interesting.

Digging: cavetown - Lemon Boy

Chortles
August 10th 2017


20971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ty halqt :^)



Thanks so much blushful, I'm very flattered by that

Ryus
August 10th 2017


15828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this sounds dope!

Chortles
August 10th 2017


20971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

from one techbro to another, I assure u that it is dope

cylinder
August 10th 2017


1310 Comments


Ace review, this sounds right up my alley

Digging: Black Tambourine - Complete Recordings

clavier
August 11th 2017


474 Comments


lovely review, lovely descriptions. every line gets across something very significant

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2017


6476 Comments


a Chortles review! and a class one at that.. will be checking out..

"a medium which often relies on time in order to prompt an emotional response, but it just makes sense here. Efdemin is an electronic album built around negative space, utilizing moments of reticence to string up subtle tension" you eloquent motherfucker you..

Digging: Flux of Pink Indians - The Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks

Ryus
August 11th 2017


15828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first track is bangin

Chortles
August 11th 2017


20971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks guys! And butcher - im just trying to compete with my arch nemesis here ;-)

Ryus
October 3rd 2017


15828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

his head disappeared































and reappeared

Chortles
October 3rd 2017


20971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the lil beat that comes after that sample is so subtle but it feels like a massive moment for me every time. love how he evokes that feeling so often here



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