Joel Mull - Reminder

Heiko Laux formed Kanzleramt back in Germany in 1994 - long before his local environment became the focal point for a new minimal movement. Throughout its 12 year history the label has quietly gone about showcasing some of the best experimental techno projects and artists of recent times, including Richard Bartz's 1998 'Subway', Alexander Kowalski and of course Keiko Laux himself in various forms.

Kanzleramt's underground agenda and understated profile has meant that it rarely gathered widespread support and this is unlikely to change following the latest release from Sweden's Joel Mull - despite its undoubted quality.

The original mix is yet more evidence (if it is needed) of both Joel Mull's versatility and his deep understanding of Detroit grooves represented via modern production techniques. 'Reminder' is a crisp and funky interpretation of all things Detroit, spilt by mid tempo breakbeat and uplifting electro synth concepts. The deep and cyclical bass construct sounds distinctly old fashioned and could easily be taken straight from the aquatic drum n bass grooves presented on LTJ Bukem's Good Looking label in the mid 90's. Droning strings and additional space inspired sounds complete the track with extra melody. 'Reminder' is rich and musical techno that successfully recycles past influences through experimental and original themes.

The label boss continues the mid tempo structure with the HLX Dub. Bright drum patterns integrate with a sharp and exacting bassline before creative synth washes evolve with the varied bass injections. These elements form the basis for the inclusion of unique percussion, subtle strings and an electronic riff that is softly applied. Laux is a true innovator and should be considered alongside the very best in the scene on the strength of his perpetual 'Soul Dancer EP' alone, released back in 1998 on Richard Bartz's Kurbel label. The HLX Dub doesn't match the standards of that unrivalled EP but it does generate a solid piece of blissed out techno, drenched in Detroit melodies.

The 'Ray Constructed' version, the work of Ray Kajioka, is 'Reminder' in peak time mode. Presented in a tribal format with prominent synth arrangements and tough bass surges, Kajioka has clearly designed his interpretation for dancefloor environments, and it should operate well thanks to nice equalised builds. Despite these able features this reconstruction sounds too dated, and adds nothing new to the synth based 4/4 techno that dominated during the late 90's.

For the OSF Molten mix Heiko Laux combines with Teo Schulte to complete Mull's 'Reminder' in some style. Both producers create a vintage Model 500 inspired groove with bubbling analogue riffs and a simple doubled up synth. The main breakdown produces both musical and wild sound variations in the classic UR mode. Laux and Schulte's OSF arrangement is a reflective vision that would sit comfortably within the back catalogue of Transmat. And despite the lack of forward thinking innovation, it is still refreshing to hear a snapshot of the past, and the warmth and groove associated with this era - especially given the sparse electronic sounds that are presently encasing much of modern techno.

Joel Mull - Reminder




KA 127


April 3 2006


May 11, 2006 at 1:06 AM CEST


Paul Pritchard

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