Boomkat Product Review:
Berghain resident and German techno mainstay Tobias Freund returns to his tobias. project to flex with almost beatless soundscapes, ruff industrial textures, and psychedelic sound design. One for fans of Jake Muir, Demdike Stare, and the West Mineral/Experiences Ltd. stable.
The Berlin techno to ambient pipeline is practically a conveyor belt at the moment for reasons that should be obvious, but Tobias Freund has been experimenting with these kinda sounds for some time, with a slew of pensive records for Ostgut Ton and collaborations with Atom™. 'Hall Ov Fame' is his most convincing set to date, thankfully swerving expected ambient tropes in favor of richly textured sensual elements that betray a keen ear and confident processing skills.
Foreboding early moments like the gloomy, noir-esque 'Silhouettes' and creaking, "Silent Hill"-adjacent 'Zenith' hint that "Hall Ov Fame" is not for the faint of heart, but it's the grinding choral industrial cloudiness of 'The Mirror Blind' that leaves us completely convinced. Dark ambient is a well raked genre, but Freund stays away from the Deathprod-Lustmord axis, allowing his sound palette to breathe hoarsely in the shadow of dubwise sonic processes.
Following similar lines to Jake Muir's recent illbient tribute 'Mana', Tobias smeares endless delays across eerie field recordings and disquieting pads, with 'Hinterland' closing the album with a booming analog rhythmic pulse, evoking Demdike Stare's pitch-black witchcraft.