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White Noise: Christian Löffler – Aspen

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Christian Löffler – Aspen

Label:  Ki


Undefined Season

On one end of the Deep House and Techno spectrum is an obsession with machines; the inhuman clanking and percussion of Berghain’s finest. But deep at the other end of these genres is found just as striking an obsession with nature; the deep forests in Gas’ seminal loops and the rustling windchimes of Pantha Du Prince. Löffler situates himself firmly on the latter end of the spectrum, drawing deep and atmospheric compositions from his equipment that flow organically and almost seem to softly breathe as you listen. On this gorgeous EP he presents a few cuts from his album to be released later this year, and the tunes on offer are a real delight.

These tracks are Techno at its most melodic and placid, so if you’re looking for driving dancefloor material then it may be best to look elsewhere. But if you allow yourself to become immersed in the depths of these songs it’s easy to see their beauty. Title cut Aspen is an intensely satisfying cut, building slowly with a melancholic organ and subdued percussion. Every sound is perfectly chosen and treated to compliment atmosphere and mood, so even when there isn’t a lot going on it’s still a joy to listen to.  Slowly the field samples accumulate with a deep low-end and finely textured percussion cementing the track in a solid groove. Midway through the song transforms into something really special; a twinkling melodic line emerges with subtle chimes and the beat drops back in with perfect timing. The result is a deeply atmospheric and meditative song which has been carefully constructed to draw attention to each element, and it’s a rewarding journey.

On the flipside Undefined Season explores darker territories, with deep minor chords and subdued percussion evoking a powerful mood. Small details stand out; a morphing synth accent and the natural touches that emerge only to be stifled by the throbbing bassline. Final cut Signals returns to the cerebral leanings of Aspen but with different touches, a deep bass pulse underpins skittish synths and swung beats until the track establishes a strong groove. All the tunes here are careful and subdued, but masterfully wrought and presented with a real understanding of mood and space. Löffler has definitely got my attention, and if you’re a fan of the deeper, moodier end of dance music then he might just grab yours too.


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