Boomkat Product Review:
f you're gonna stay cool, always throw a curveball or two.....and that's something that Berlin's Ostgut crew seem to have a natural aptitude for. Not content with establishing what's considered in many quarters to be the coolest club in the world (the twin delights of Berlin's Berghain and Panorama Bar), Ostgut have now engineered a dreamlike hookup between Berlin's Staatsballet and their very own establishment - with a special one-off performance due to take place at the club sometime in late June. The club has commisioned some of the most sought-after producers of the moment to score the soundtrack - and the results are now brought together on this totally brilliant compilation that's pretty much the most anticipated Techno/Minimal release of the year and just about the best thing of its kind we've heard since this very label's Cassy mix cd late last year. Onto the music - only 4 long pieces make up this release, totally exclusive material from Sleeparchive, Ame, Nsi and, impressively, Luke Slater's "The 7th Plain", with some of the tracks clocking in at almost 20 minutes. Cadenza's Nsi open the set with a 14 minute exercise in spacious bliss, a sprawling track that has much in common with Move D's night-time emissions with its dips in and out of focus, woody percussion and as much atmospheric layering as you can fit into one track. It's a brilliantly dreamy piece that one can only imagine will work a treat with Xenia Wiest's choreography. The inimitable Sleeparchive is up next - his "Perspective" track quite possibly being the most fully-formed track in his career to date, a padded square bassline entering the fray in slow motion while the faint echo of Berlin's dub heritage drifts into view with a series of perfectly paced stabs. It seems that all those hours hanging out at Hardwax have slowly instilled the Basic Channel spirit into this producer - and it's a match that couldn't have come soon enough for us - brilliant stuff. Ame's 17 minute contribution "Fiori" has perhaps been the most discussed track on offer here - lending their innate understanding of form and melody into a maverick, slow-building epic that starts off with a constellation of twirling bleeps and a pulsating bassline, and ends up quite some time later with an almost euphoric, string-laded jaunt in 4/4 that will no doubt be as copied and referenced as often their carrer-defining track "Rej". For the album's final track it seems that Ostgut have managed to lure Luke Slater's long-dormant "7th Plain" out of retirement and the result is a 13 minute journey through ambient signatures, dusted beats and a blurred, under-the-influence attention defecit that seemingly alters the trajectory of the track every few bars. The end result is nothing short of blissful and, once again, will no doubt make for quite a spectacle when matched with Nadja Saidakova's choreography. And so there you have it - an hour of music that's already managed to get an intense amount of coverage - from Pitchfork's Ostgut feature through to a 5 star review in last week's Guardian Film & Music section, if you're only going to buy one electronic album this year - make it this one.