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Boomkat Product Review:
Shed gets all misty-eyed for his heimat, ‘Oderbruch’ in a cannily textured and melancholy 5th album of signature spins on Detroit, UK, and Berlin rave and techno styles.
Reflecting on his roots in the now bucolic rural region on the German-Polish border which was once site of the 20th century’s most pivotal battles between the Nazis and Russian/Poliush forces, Shed renders a strong balance of romantic melancholy and rugged rhythmic impetus in a classic style that has served him well thus far since his ’Shedding The Past’ LP. One gets the impression that the issue is so personally sore and evocative that it’s really taken René Pawlowitz until now to properly reveal a background to his music, and it only emphasises a levity that perhaps was always there, but now has greater meaning.
Balancing hedonist escapism with ontological realism, the album arguably shapes up as Shed’s best since his pivotal debut. Highlights such as the sweeping breakbeat mini-symphonies ‘Menschen und Mauern’ and ‘Sterbende Alleen’ prove he’s still one of the best non-UK artists to dice with old skool breakbeat hardcore styles, while the mesh of textured string plucks and spacious, whirring percussion on ‘Die Oder’ point to a classily grown-up refinement of his style (not that it was ever childish, tbf) that brings the album’s theme to life in key with the sweetly atmospheric ambient couplet at the album’s core, and ‘Das Bruch’ neatly wraps it up with a mix of boisterous, experimental breakage and vintage synth voices that metaphorically sum up and cement the album’s Janus-faced aesthetic.