Boomkat Product Review:
Jan Schulte (Wolf Müller) hitches his debut Bufiman album to Dekmantel, ideal home for his wipe-clean simulacra of tropical grooves, new wave dance-pop and ‘80s FM synths
“The year is 2019, and Jan Schulte is spelling out his vision in simple terms. Within the first few of Albumsi’s hour-plus runtime, our host lays out the mat, and welcomes us to the ‘Galaxy’, just as he welcomed us to ‘Zum Paradies’ on Instrumentalmusik von der Mitte der World. There, he donned a Wolf Müller mask. Here it is nom de doof, Bufiman. The directive is clear: buckle up, as this trip advisor for countless left-of-the-dial dancers and deep thinkers alike is back in the hot seat.
True to his word, the first thing that hits is the drums. Across the album are samples that Bufiman has been collecting since he was a mere Bufiboy. Recordings culled from market stalls 20+ years ago and song sketches that lay dormant since 2006 get a facelift at the Wolf Müller Flanger Studio and walk into the world as finished articles. A proggy tribute to funk classic ‘Blow Your Head’ takes this updating job most directly, transporting Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s to the fringes of a Frankfurt rave with a decanter of spiked punch, doin’ the worm through a space-time wormhole as they go.
Sometimes those drums jive away steadily, and sometimes they boom and bap right under your nose (and in the middle of the LP, they are barely present at all). Live instrumentation and digitised rat-a-tat link like brothers in arms. What might Mantronix sound like if they were from North Sentinel Island instead of New York City? Albumsi could be the answer.
This is the first record Bufiman has since leaving his day job of 11 years. It is the first made after touring and exploring some of the furthermost pockets of the globe – something that left a naturally great and greatly natural impression on him. A switch was flipped, he says, once he realised he could finally paint these pictures without pressure: “For the first time in my life I suddenly had a studio, a bit of gear and 3-4 days of time every week at once. Before I might have had one or two of these components, but never all at once.”