New on Christian Prommer and Christoph Henrik Pankowski’s young Musica Autonomica imprint, Innellea’s Saladin EP takes its name from the first sultan of Egypt. The German duo’s name is simply explained in the sales notes as “a neologism; created in reference to the musical reinvention of the duo.” After Googling the word “neologism” I was still none the wiser, but without even having listening to the record I’d already made the fairly solid assumption that these guys would probably wouldn’t be found in Ibiza making “heart fingers” at a scantily clad pool-party crowd this summer. Time to press play; I’ve been wrong before…
The opening bars of “Saladin” summon up the same visions of a slightly decayed, starkly beautiful city-scape that the best early Detroit Techno always did for me. The track (and the whole EP for that matter) has a feeling of longing about it. Fragments of jarringly beautiful melody swirl in and out. The use of space is breathtaking, the anticipation of each wave more intense than the last. This as close to “art music” as you can get without losing the dancefloor. Very few records make me long for my “proper” clubbing days, but the breakdown in “Obsidian” is such a perfect 5am “closed eyes” moment of euphoria, that it’s hard not to reminisce just a little. Berlin native Marco Resmann supplies a highly accomplished and understated remix of “Saladin,” again with a late-night crowd in mind. Final track “Noxe” is more than solid, as are the two digital-only bonus tracks, but those two opening tracks really are on another level, at least for me.
I’ve made a pact with myself to avoid genre debates at all costs, and I’m certainly not going to break it here, except to say that if “Tech House” didn’t mean something altogether, this could be described as a blend of… No, I’m not gonna do it. Listen for yourself.
Published first in 5 Mag Issue #129, featuring Mood II Swing, Martin EZ, Terry Hunger & Jon Pierce, a year hands-on with the Rane MP2015 and more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full access to everything House Music and save 60%!