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Boomkat Product Review:
Berghain’s techno pillar presents his first solo album in a decade, rolling out 13 slabs of sleek, muscular pummel and sci-fi sound design skooled by industrial, EBM and Berlin/Chicago/Detroit dance modes .
With nearly 30 years of DJ experience under his belt, including some 15 years as resident at Berlin’s notorious power plant, Dettmann’s inevitable shift to production around the mid ‘00s was instrumental in techno’s broader paradigm shift toward a darker sort of dance music. Now doing it for Amsterdam’s Dekmantel, ‘Fear of Programming’ puts his countless hours of experience at club music’s coalface into a finely calibrated collection of dance music dynamos.
The 13 tracks are exactly the sort one could expect to hear in his typically lengthy DJ sets, and strewn with atmospheric palate cleansers that give it a sense of narrative in key with LPs by the likes of Sandwell District and Planetary Assault Systems. Discrete rather than spectacular, ‘Fear of Programming’ is bookended by cuts that evoke the dry cold of Berlin in winter, and cycles from Silent Servant-esque EBM-techno slink in ‘Suffice to Predict’, thru snap-jawed Chicago jak (‘Renewal Theory’) to a Terrence Dixon-alike highlight in the minimalist gait of ‘Water’, with the beat-less tension of ‘Reverse Dreams’ giving way to the electroid warehouse jacker ‘x12’, and bugged-out bleeps of ‘Tone’.