Bit disconcerting to see Nachtbraker outside of his element. Catching the producer working outside of Detroit Swindle’s Heist or his own Nachtbraker and Quartet Series labels is practically a disguise — a bit like spotting a bartender walking in broad daylight, without the nightclub ambiance and the glassy 2am haze.

This time he’s making Aus Music his home-away-from-home, handing Will Saul’s label four of the best tracks of his career for the strange and beautiful Fatoe Morgana EP.

Nachtbraker‘s sound has always been a bit spacey — a cloudiness, a dazzling blue haze, an ambient hum subordinated to the groove. What I’m sayin is that if there’s a committee that selects this year’s “producer most likely to make a soundtrack for a 90 minute experimental art film,” Nachtbraker is their pre-nom favorite. But this time his orbit is more elliptical, with sounds that actually could come from space or that 90 minute soundtrack for an experimental art film. “Fatoe Morgana” is built from spare parts — I mean the whole record but also the title track — a whirling electronic whine wrenched into an anxiety-ridden percussive shuffle. It’s techno but with an ebullient, elastic bounce. The same blueprint was used on “QT & The Lizards” but with its greatest effect on the techno ambient masterpiece “De Zon.” This drops in the room like a flashbang — there’s no anticipation, no hint, it’s just a perfectly crafted track erupting out of the lithosphere and up into the clouds.

Read More: Nocturnal Adventures with Nachtbraker

The breaks come together in a kind of sonic prayer on “Nar Hon Inte Ar Dar” (Sunrise Mix) — which could be the best Gavin Hardkiss/Hawke track Gavin Hardkiss/Hawke never made. In a universe stripped of context this would probably be sold as “trance,” but we don’t live in that universe anymore, we left it behind when human were required to click on pictures and type nonsensical words to convince websites that they are not robots. This is the one of beauty, the one of the real Fata Morgana — an optical phenomenon that plagues sea-weary sailors by making objects on the distant horizon appear to be floating in the sky. That’s a world that’s still worth living in.

Nachtbraker: Fatoe Morgana / Aus Music (February 19 2020/12″ Vinyl/Digital)
A1. Nachtbraker: “Fatoe Morgana” (7:44)
A2. Nachtbraker: “QT & The Lizards” (5:44)
B1. Nachtbraker: “De Zon” (6:45)
B2. Nachtbraker: “Nar Hon Inte Ar Dar” (Sunrise mix) (5:58)



SOUL POWER: Originally published in 5 Mag issue 179 featuring 25 Years of Compost, Soulphiction, Marco Faraone & more. Help support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.