Thursday, May 3, 2012
A couple of interesting and impressive albums have just come out, and these will shortly be getting a lot of attention. In particular, I am thinking of the Shackleton and Actress albums. I'm still making my mind up about the latter, but the former - and especially "Music for the Quiet Hour" - is a truly astonishing album. Mr. Shackleton has done something pretty special right there... But here I want to focus on another album, which might slip under the radar, even though it is by some big names, and happens to be very good.
Mohn is the new collaborative project between two Kompakt heroes, Jörg Burger & Wolfgang Voigt. They are responsible for a classic ambient techno album [Las Vegas] as burger/ink, and of course, Herr Voigt had a few solo contributions to the genre with his seminal GAS project... Working together again, with Mohn they revisit ambient techno and have produced a very worthwhile album.
Perhaps a good point of comparison is the Voices from the Lake album, which also draws heavily on '90s ambient techno for inspiration. Mohn is of a similar high quality, but the presentation and sounds are a bit different. It lacks that progressive, fluid continuity that defines the VFTL piece, but like the best of the ambient techno genre, there is a shared balance between groove and atmosphere. And one of the defining features of the Mohn album is the (re)appearance of that classic Kompakt charm, something which the label and its artists have unfortunately largely lost. But there definitely is an element of schaffel on Mohn... Perhaps this is the reason why I like the album so much: it is warm, friendly, inviting. It has a bit of that old Kompakt magic that I sincerely miss...
Mohn is not particularly innovative, it is certainly not going to blow your mind. Saying that, the track above - "Ebertplatz 2020" - is very special and the clear highlight. Overall, Mohn is a lovely album and something that I have been enjoying thoroughly. Don't let this one slip under the radar, it is worth your time.