Paul Eg: Rebuilt Album
Ethnik Groove

In essence, what Paul Eg, a Brazilian DJ and producer whose career began in 1996 and who's produced tracks under the names Bio Booster and Negativ Men, and a handful of collaborators serve up on Rebuilt is an instruction manual on textbook techno, with the album's four sides amounting to a high-quality time capsule of the genre at its most muscular, lean, and stealthy. Eg, who brought his Ethnik Groove label into being in 2004 followed by its sister label Minimo in 2006, chose his remixers carefully so as to ensure that while their individual differences would emerge in their contributions so too would the album end up sounding unified and cohesive. One thing that helped make that a more likely result was Eg's decision to have the six producers involved (Eg included) do makeovers of three tracks only.

On side one, Benja & Reto Ardour give “Gotta Go” an elegant rebuild that finds the tune unspooling in a tight and funky minimal techno treatment sweetened with chunky chords, aftyer which Lee Burton pushes the material into a dub-techno realm by amplifying its chords with generous doses of echo and reverb. Burton also brings out the track's dancier side by adding disco hi-hats, ringing ride cymbals, and an overall heavier bass pulse. If Eg's own hard-grooving rebuild of “Funky Moment” is a high-spirited electrified stepper with a jaunty jack at its rhythmic center, the version by Brazilian producer Philip Braunstein thunders from the first moment, with wave upon wave of rippling chords reinforcing the track's dizzying attack.

On the third side, Swedish producer Jeff Bennett and David Lazzari tackle “Unexplicable Life,” with the former dishing out a fleet-footed dance version sprinkled with a wealth of croaking noises and washes and, in perhaps the album's most memorable treatment, the latter boldly transforming the original into a luscious deep house number emblazoned with swirls and the mantra-like repetition of a “Shine” voice motif. Side D finds Eg, piloting solo, first presenting “Forget Me Shortly,” a forceful slice of minimal insistence overlaid with a doctored voiceover lifted from The Matrix (specifically the part where Morpheus enlightens Neo about the life he's actually led), and secondly “Untold History,” a more laid-back, after-hours setting that nicely eases the listener out of the release.

It's a nicely sequenced release, with each of three vinyl sides devoted to two versions of an existing original and the fourth reserved for two fresh Eg tracks, and all of the tracks are in the six- to seven-minute range, an ideal length of time as it allows the material to develop at an unhurried pace but not stick around so long that it threatens to wear out its welcome. Needless to say, the ideal to way to hear Eg's album is to sample it in vinyl form, with each side presenting two booming cuts for one's listening satisfaction.

October 2011