Stefan Goldmann: The Empty Foxhole
Mule Electronic

On his premiere mix CD, Berlin producer and DJ Stefan Goldmann combines classics (Villalobos's “What You Say Is More Than I Can Say” and Plastikman's trippy “Hypokondriak”) with soon-to-be-classics (Mathew Jonson's epic “Symphony For The Apocalypse”). His seventy-nine-minute set is distinguished by an eclectic track selection and its gradual fades, with traces of one track often bleeding into the two on either side (e.g., the vocal murmur in Nail's “(I Don't Wanna) Hurt U” starts to appear more than a minute before Minilogue's “Inca” ends). The mix covers multiple bases, including minimal house, electro-house, techno, and deep house, with material drawn from Dial, Kompakt, Minus, Svek, Perlon, and more. Goldmann even manages to sneak in some of his own experimental music in the eerie intro “Five Boroughs,” reminiscent of the electroacoustic style documented on Voices of the Dead which was issued recently alongside The Transitory State on the double-disc Macro set.

Jonson's mind-bending “Symphony For The Apocalypse” is as snake-charmingly seductive in this context as it is on Sven Väth's The Sound Of The Ninth Season, and familiarity hasn't dimmed the potency of Villalobos's serpentine track either. “(I Don't Wanna) Hurt U” and “Cheval” deliver slinky house swing from Nail (a Goldmann alias) and Panash' (Pepe Bradock) respectively, while Goldmann's funky thumper “Wolverine” and Dennis Ferrer's castanets-laden “I Can't Go Under,” featuring Malena Perez's sinuous vocal, are memorable too. The mix drags only once, when Jens Zimmermann's eight-minute “Tranquilitté” overstays its welcome, but Goldmann otherwise keeps things moving quickly. His smooth segues preserve the unified feel of this stylistically diverse set, with almost every cut shifting the focus to a slightly different area. Consider, for example, the move from Joel Mull's “Blossom,” where metallic shards ricochet over a steaming groove, to Minilogue's trance-inducing “Inca,” which sets the controls for the heart of the sun and never looks back. The two pieces are like night and day, yet Goldmann's skilful handling of the transition between them downplays their contrast.

February 2009