Niederflur: DIN EP

A Minus mainstay since 2001, Niederflur (Christopher Bleckmann and Hannes Wenner) returns with a new three-track 12-inch augmented by a digital exclusive (“Evtl”). The outfit crafts subtle exercises in artful sound design without sacrificing its material's club essence; a given track's activity level is relentless but its sounds are so meticulously woven the results aren't overbearing but engrossing. Niederflur typically grounds its material on a straightforward 4/4 base and then generates an endlessly percolating weave of patterns overtop, a little bit like taking in at a single glance the clockwork movements within an entire insect colony.

In “DIN,” patterns of muffled slams and hi-hat accents spring into formation over a driving pulse, and then step aside when a subterranean bass growl takes the stage. Gradually the tune segues into a subtly swinging groove that's primarily techno, but oozes hints of acid and dub too. Willowy tones, industrial stabs, and distorted percussive accents scratch and twitch atop a laid-back base in “Isv” while the funkier “Exkl” chugs determinedly in dubbed-out electro-house mode throughout its deep space trip. Dub and electro haunt the chilled techno pulses of the dramatic “Evtl” where gauzy chords lurch in contrast to the high-velocity swirl of the surrounding elements.

May 2007