One of the fundamental issues with modern dancefloor-oriented techno is that, in catering to the needs of DJs, what gets lost is the idea of finding one’s own sound and creating something that allows for mixability, while simultaneously sounding like nothing else. Too often, we get the same beats, the same synth stabs rearranged in a different way than that other guy (or those 40 other guys), but basically a lot of samey sounding stuff. It’s easy enough to mix with other tracks that just moved that synth note over a beat, but ultimately forgettable when next week’s releases drop.
Germany’s Mike Dehnert has carved out a sound for himself that is not only instantly recognizable, but also melds the weird with a groove fat enough to grab anyone listening and start the bootyshaking forthwith. He is doing entirely his own thing, and this latest release on his label Fachwerk is no exception.
“Detroit Switch Back To City” starts out proper with a murky bassline bounce and warm metallic stabs crawling up out from the deep. “LAX” keeps the bass pumping while venturing into staccatto snare tracky business guaranteed to light up the horns. With “Orage de Chaleur”, Dehnert dives right back to the bottom of the bass frequencies, wobbling his way into some distant ketamine-fuelled cousin of Basic Channel. It’s stupidly funky in the wonkiest way possible. The closer, “Sans Cesse”, straightens out the beat and adds sizzling hats, stabs and more of his signature incomprehensible vocal snippets, while upping the bang factor to 11.
Dehnert’s releases have become “buy on sight” for me as a general rule, and this EP offers a nice variety across its four tracks aimed especially for those on the decks: from Techno folks who enjoy a dive into submerged bass funk, to House DJs who are adventurous enough to take things a little sideways.