Boomkat Product Review:
At freaking last, arch innovators/influencers MMM aka Erik Wiegand (Errorsmith) and Michael Fiedler (Berghain/Wax Treatment resident DJ Fiedel) deliver a 25-year-in-the-making debut album testament to their raving nous, suitably reading the room for an off-peak session of etheric, killer electro-dub minimalism.
Landing a quarter of a century since their bare boned ‘Elektro Cut’ and the full bodied ‘Donna’ anthem, the pivotal Berliners serve a coolly measured batch of dubwise mutations sensitive to the times in ‘On The Edge'. Strictly speaking it’s not a “pandemic” record, but its notable lack of bangers was prompted by a need to explore moods beyond peak time, resulting in a much quieter, spare set of tunes than many might have expected - us included. However, the eight tracks are properly future-proofed by their elegant efficiency, working to breezy, even meditative templates where aspects of more energetic styles are refined and absorbed with a sophistication and offbeat, syncopated stylings from the city known for its martial metric rigidity.
Drawing on their combined, vast knowledge of bespoke sound design (Errorsmith’s ‘Razor’ softsynth) and contemporary dance music - from its studio roots in Jamaica, to its Chicago disco engine room, UK rave floors, and prevailing mutations from modern day Africa and South America - the duo parse the most salient elements into a meticulously edited melange of motifs borrowed from dancehall. dub, techno, British bassbin styles and gqom, while never quite sounding like any of the above. Instead they deftly explore the negative space between the grooves with a proper dubwise head on them, inventively stripping right back to the pure, infinitely efficient whirr of rhythmic mechanics, while crucially bestowing a devilishly poignant spirit in the details.
The “up” but melancholic techno step of opener ‘Where To Go’ (with a strong whiff of Villalobos’ still peerless Fizheuer Zieheuer) is as fast as it gets, but they’re careful to keep momentum throughout the album, toying with the halfstep in ‘Everything Falls into Place’ and murky tension of ‘On The Edge’, and committing their most introspective moment in the early Dynamo-like reduction of ‘No Thought.’ However, they pull back from the brink with the chamber like sashay of cello and sampled voices in ‘The Interview’, and loosen up in the 2nd half’s buoyant strutter ‘When Does Ghosting End’ and the effortless sashay of shuffling subbass bumps and synthesised vocal in ‘So Nigh’, where their attention to detail really come into play.
Aye, this is the zen MMM and a record that rewards patience and an open mind 🔥