Prosumer & Murat Tepeli: Serendipity
Ostgut Ton

Serenity's cover image—white powder-faced Achim Brandenburg (aka Prosumer) and Murat Tepeli attacking watermelon slices—makes the two look like a pair of jokers. Nothing wrong with that necessarily, so long as the listener doesn't prematurely conclude that the two treat their music-making as frivolously. They don't, obviously, though they don't take it too seriously either. Generally speaking, the debut album from Panorama resident Prosumer and partner Tepeli serves up a restrained variant of melodic house that goes down smoothly. Appealing as their subtly swinging, late-night house tracks are, they're instrumentally more impressive than vocally (the skeletal “Serenity” provides a sensuous and, yes, serene start but it's weakened by Brandenburg 's merely serviceable singing)—at least until Elif Biçer enters in “Drama Baby.” Her subtly soulful delivery makes all the difference on the four tracks where she appears (especially “Turn Around” and “Butterfly”), and by album's end the listener is left wanting more of her, not less. Aside from those tracks, the album's fiercer material, like the swinging, chant-like “Give and Take” and slightly acidy minimal house cuts “Go Silla” and “Makes Me Wanna Dance,” is the most memorable, though the slow-burning pitter-patter of “Solid Mind” is enticing too. Judging by Serenity, one could conceivably think of Prosumer and Tepeli as a less dynamic kin to Booka Shade. (Note: Serenity is available in two versions, one for the home and one for the club: the CD contains seventeen tracks, while the double 12-inch has eight DJ-friendly extended versions of the most danceable tracks, as well as some vinyl exclusives.)

February 2008