Puresque: Leimotiv

Mere months after the release of Mike Huckaby's Tresor Records 20th Anniversary mix disc, the label follows it up with a twelve-track full-length by Puresque, an outfit that finds DJs Michael Kunz (Mocca) teaming up with Paul Brtschitsch. Leitmotiv isn't the Berlin-based duo's first Tresor outing, as their Vor Leitmotiv EP appeared in late-2011, but it's obviously a far more complete statement by the pair. The project came about somewhat by accident, with Kunz initially seeking out Brtschitsch in 2010 for production assistance, but their work on a single track quickly grew into a full-fledged collaboration rooted in a firm commitment to analogue production methodologies. Having worked up an eight-track demo, they approached Tresor and were quickly brought on board as new residents and roster artists.

Club-heads will want to skip the short experimental intro “Einlauf” and move immediately onto “Parafin,” as excellent an exemplar of the Puresque aesthetic as any on the album. Equally crisp and lithe, the tune rocks its swinging tech-house pulse hard, and Kunz and Brtschitsch repeat its central motif with a mind-numbing obsessiveness until the effect becomes dizzying. That cut establishes a template for the ones that follow, with all of them grounded in beats that throb with the unwavering precision of well-oiled machinery and in pulsating melodic patterns that the duo ornaments with the ebb and flow of claps, percussive detail, and textural atmospherics. Those with a funkier appetite should go directly to “Grenzwolf,” which arrests the BPM ever so slightly so as not to totally exhaust clubbers during its nine-minute run, while the knife-edged beats and low-end slither of the album standout “Salamander” are clearly designed for those with a jones for skull-rattling bass throb. Don't leave early either, as doing so would mean you'd miss the twelve-minute closer “Tagtraumer,” which drapes cinematic voice samples over its syncopated wail.

Tracks such as “Säbelrasseln,” “001A,” and “Im Keller” hit with a relentless intensity and magnum force, and the result is a seventy-three-minute collection that plays much like a club set preserved on wax. The two aren't afraid to let things get raw and wild either (such as during the thoroughly brain-addling “Im Keller”) so the album hardly registers as some too-safe exercise in sanitized techno, and by powering their meticulous, analogue-crafted music with kinetic techno rhythms, the duo ensures that Leitmotiv works well as both club music and as a straight-up listen.

February 2012