Paul Brtschitsche: Me, Myself & Live

Paul Brtschitsch (pronounced “Bridge-Itch”) specializes in what he calls “touse”—material that bridges the gap between techno and house. His fifth album, Me, Myself and Live (issued on his own label Rootknox), certainly sounds like the producer at the top of his game, as any one of its eleven cuts holds up splendidly as an artful exemplar of electronically-produced dance music. Hardly a novice, Brtschitsch has released material on Plus 8, Music Man, and Ostgut-Ton, and recently co-produced Anja Schneider's Beyond the Valley album.

Me, Myself and Live certainly begins strongly with “Three Weeks” drawing the listener in with a seductive funk-house vamp, delicious keyboard filigrees, voice loops, and syncopated percussion touches. The vibe is carefree and sexy, and the temperature warm and soothing. One of the album's major pleasures is simply how it sounds with Brtschitsch paying careful attention to the production details, whether it's the swish of the hi-hats and the tight snap of the snare in “Adiamo,” the snare rolls clattering through the synthetic labyrinths of “Wizards & Rabbits,” or the bass lines that throb like undercurrents elsewhere. Hear, too, how smoothly he mixes the shining hi-hats, claps, and synth elements into a succulent whole in “Diamant Flute,” and slips the slinkiest glimmer of a melody into the jaunty stepper “One Morning.” A steam-driven cut such as “Rude Knox” serves notice that Me, Myself and Live has its share of club anthems too, though dance beats almost vanish altogether during the exotic outro “Extend.”

In earlier albums such as Surftronic, Venex, and Memory (all on Frisbee), Brtschitsch sequenced tracks much like a DJ set, easing the listener in at the start, diving deep in the middle, and pulling back towards the end, and there's a little bit of that same strategy in play on the new album too. If there's a knock against it, it's the seventy-minute running time, and the fact that a minute or so could have been shaved off many tracks (e.g., “Morane,” “Doriana”) without losing the plot in the process. Those are relatively minor complaints, however, given the release's overall high quality.

June 2009