Hardfloor: The Life We Choose

A collection of acid-drenched techno may not sound like the most forward-thinking offering but Hardfloor members Ramon Zenker and Oliver Bondzio invest their seventh studio album and first collection in two years, The Life We Choose, with so much energy and enthusiasm you'll likely find yourself won over no matter how you feel about the genre. It's pretty much futile to resist the infectious swing and double-TB303 attack of “The Trill Acid Theme”—especially when its acid fever intensifies so relentlessly throughout its nine-minute running time—and the backbeat acid-funk rumble of “Melorec” and jacking techno swing of “Swiffer” are potent too. Oily acid seeps to the surface of the locomotive techno burner “...Me, Three” which Hardfloor punctuates with jazzy drum flourishes and rabid handclaps. Despite hewing to the predominating style, Zenker and Bondzio manage to work conspicuous contrasts into the tracks, with the dark stormer “Who You Gonna Call?” clearly different in spirit from the sunny funk vibe of “Apollo & Zeus.” We could've done without the stalker-like voiceover on the otherwise fine “Itz Ok (Club Mix)” and the concluding “Album Mix” version is largely rendered superfluous by the inclusion of its sibling but these are minor caveats. The album's vibe is generally euphoric, sometimes even Dionysian, with a spirit of barely-controlled abandon infusing the group's thoroughly stoked material.

July 2008