Wednesday, June 11, 2008

herr dettmann for the win

while fellow ssg pete may regularly write reviews for RA (check here for his excellent take on the move d and benjamin brunn album), it is something i had to stop doing a while ago because of time constraints. saying that, i've come out of retirement to review marcel dettmann's mix berghain 02. you can find the review here.

basically, the CD is as good as we all expected and hoped it would be. my only complaint is that i feel two of the classic records he mixes in don't quite fit, and their inclusion lacks the spontaneity found in his livesets. i know pete disagrees with me on this point, and i am guessing quite a few others will as well. to back up my position, i'd strongly suggest having a listen to this recent set of his posted below, which has plenty of classic records mixed in seamlessly. my feeling is the old school mixes with the new school much better in this set and others i've heard, than it does in berghain 02, where it feels like the risqué rythum team and kevin saunderson records are a bit forced. hell, even if you still disagree, it is a new dettmann set, so it's a win-win.

marcel dettman @ zenzero 24.04.2008
*two things to note*
1. it is a .rar consisting of two mp3 files. the password is:
2. it is recorded in italy BUT there is no MC. rest easy guys and gals.

to summarise: enjoy the set, get the CD, thanks to RA for letting me do the review, and much, much respect to herr dettmann for coming through with the goods.


  1. The CD has just arrived here in Tokyo ...

    I don't want to sound too much like Boomkat, but I reckon this mix is absolutely essential. (Tip! Erm, sorry, couldn't help myself there ... )

    But, in all seriousness, this is undoubtedly one of the best mix CDs of 2008 so far ...

  2. love his sound. love norman nodge. love berghain..

  3. Just read your review, it's cool; but don't you think you could have done a mix just like this. The track selection is good but everyone is buying these tracks and similar ones at the moment... I do agree it's great that techno is moving on and the more atmospheric and considered side is more popular.


  4. t's a matter of articulation.

    You have

    - material

    - arrangement

    - articulation

    the first is fundamental. BiBo (bullshit in, bullshit out)

    The second is nearly as important, but you can get away with fudging this, as long as the first is rock solid (see Juan Atkins behind the decks as exhibit 500)

    the third though, the articulation – this where it gets tricky, but really, I feel like so much of it in 2008 is all about the ineffable 'how' of (re)presentation. It parallels diplomacy: it's less about what you say, more about how it's said.

    Take Ryan Elliott's recent megamix, linked on this site. It sucks. It's dull. Despite the fact that the tracklist is amazing. See also Ben Korbel's recent mix for Balance. Amazing tracklist, but he makes it sound like prog (which is fine, if you like prog).

    Same goes for Sascha Dive's RA podcast. I have nothing against Drumpoet, Oslo or the like, but it's how you (re)present the sound. Recent sets by Jan Kreuger and Dan Bell, using stylistically (and often actually) VERY similar tracks, sound amazing. It's just a matter of approach. And approach is subtle.

  5. All your points are perfectly valid Pete, however for me when you say it, where you say it and to whom you say it to are as equally important as how you say it.

    Your argument about articulation will always be spoiled by our own personal equaliser settings; how someone is saying it to you may be heard as mindless gibberish to someone else sharing the self same experience.

    Personally, I can see where you are coming from with respect to the homogeneity of material at the moment, however for me it has always been about how a DJ creates something bigger than the sum of its parts from the source material. I don't necessarily agree that this is a 2008 phenomenon.

    Approach is subtle, but so is the experiencing of the approach.

  6. I have to agree with Chris about the slight misplacement of some of the older tracks. Particularly the transition to The Jacking Zone: awkward and too immediate, imo-- suddenly you think, Oh, hi, transition to an (admittedly awesome) old track-- what happened to Tadeo?

  7. Havent got the album (yet) but just checked out the download you kindly provided. Real nice. I have to say I never expected to hear Idioteque being played, bloody awesome! Being a big fan of Radiohead I nearly choked on me coffee! Cheers for creating this blog, this is now my regular stop straight after (but sometimes before) RA....!JonnyP

  8. Re Nik's comment:

    Yeah, I agree with you (more than me), actually.

    I mean, when we communicate, we have to assume we share a world, that it exists and that an act of communication really is 'somebody trying to say something about something', even when (in actual fact) we talk past each other, spoil, introduce absurdities (often on purpose) or are heard to mean something completely other than what we intended.

    ... and yet we both assume we're relating to one another... can you dig it?

    No, it's not a 2008 phenomenon, but there does appear to be a lot of lazy, faddish DJing around. I think this is amplified and multiplied by the fact that so much gets recorded these days, DJ sets included. We live in a time where it is easier to record a song than to write one, easier to distribute a recording than to buy and store it, and this might also contribute to the very quick cycles of backlash/bandwagon.

    But also maybe there are a lot of lazy DJs out there. Thing is, less and less of them are going digging. It's easy enough to just download your favourite DJs playlists from beatportal or whatnot. Maybe this is a different kind of digging? Who knows. There are uses and disadvantages to each economy.

    But for me, half the tracks that really surprise me are those I never intended to find, that I only found out about by going ot second hand record stores and digging for records.... anyway, this is curving off, but the point is – Optimo's JG Wilkes, he plays a lot of the contemporary minimal records, but he mixes it with his personal genealogy of the past 30 years, and it never feels forced or some ubergay mashup. It's respectful and interesting. But this takes a lot of time, effort, love, research, and digging... which is more than some people seem willing to do... hmm...

  9. Here's my version of digging:
    any ideas what the track 62 minutes into part one is?
    He played it in Manchester a week ago and it made our knees go all weak. Warped.

  10. hah, never mind, i finally heard the Berghain mix and it's on there: Dettmann's remix of Deetron.

    i'll be buying that one when it's out - original's on his myspace and is also huge!

    thanks for the sets chris.

  11. I totally get what you're saying Pete. Aldous Huxley said it best for me in "The Doors Of Perception" when he said, "we live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves".

    I believe that's why we get such inherent joy out of meeting and interacting with people who share our joy for a particular track, artist, dj, set or night out. However, even within that shared love there is elements of different experience that can never be truly replicated.

    I completely agree with you with respect to lazy, faddish djing. It's frustrating and it's very much a product of the times we live in. The challenge is always in filtering through the morass of information presented to you. It IS interesting to look at what your favourite producers/djs are playing/listening to, however it is fundamental (in my mind) to assess the lists with your own sensibilities and musical filters to truly assess whether you like the track or whether you are saddling up for the bandwagon.

    I find an inherent joy in digging for interesting music that moves me. The challenge of digging (and I have seen this happen to many) is to avoid getting lost on the quest for the "perfect track" - be it the deepest, hardest, darkest, quirkiest etc. No one needs to paint themselves into the corner or set themselves up as Indiana Jones in Raiders Of The Lost Crate.

  12. "It IS interesting to look at what your favourite producers/djs are playing/listening to, however it is fundamental (in my mind) to assess the lists with your own sensibilities and musical filters to truly assess whether you like the track or whether you are saddling up for the bandwagon."


  13. on faddish DJ'ing, i am pretty sure i am going to punch the next dj who plays the rhadoo edit of st. germain's 'rose rouge'. sometimes i wonder whether the explosion in music availability of the last few years is broadening or narrowing what DJs play. it should be the former, but i cant help but feel it might be the latter.

  14. hmmmmmm... although I entered the pass, it didn't want to unrar... some error... :( tried to search for the set on the web... but no success... any chance of reuploading?


Say something constructive, bitte. Or if you're gonna take a swipe, at least sharpen your nails.

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