Falko Brocksieper: Alkem Nukem EP
At fifty-five minutes, Falko Brocksieper's Alkem Nukem EP is hardly what one expects from a conventional EP, but that's not the only way the release defies expectations. Though he might have established himself as a techno producer and co-founder and founder of Sub Static and Karloff Recordings, respectively, his EP for False Industries is anything but standard techno. Instead—as per the label's request—Brocksieper's four tracks are in a deeply textured electronica style. There is, however, a sense in which the EP checks in at a normal EP length, as Brocksieper's originals account for thirty of the release's minutes with the remainder coming from a quartet of remixes by Morgan Packard, Mark Van Hoen, Repair, and Benjamin Fehr.
The recording's tone is established when the title track (named for a German company that constructs atomic reactors) presents seven minutes of slow-motion industrial-drone fuzz and grime, and the later “Westfalia” is as textured, though also works a slow-moving beat pattern into its vaporous design. “Mellica,” likewise, is somewhat rooted in techno, given its percolating beat pattern, though here too the focus is less the dance floor and more the IDM-electronica lab. Brocksieper's ear for detail is nicely showcased here in the track's subtle incorporation of percussive textures, specifically shaker accents and marimba-like flourishes that accompany the synth patterns that pulsate throughout. The oddest of the bunch is “The Boy Who Turned Yellow,” which offsets robotically repeating voice effects and a deep bass pulse with unpredictable drum brushes playing.On the remix front, we find Fehr's enigmatic “Mellica” overhaul, which recasts the original as an ultra-dramatic, ten-minute dreamscape that includes a disturbed speaking voice contribution by Lenique that's punctuated by violent percussive accents and underlaid by an intricate latticework of piano and mallet percussion patterns. In their comparatively less elaborate Repair remix, twin brothers Matt and Mark Thibideau give the tune an ethereal and atmospheric ambient-techno makeover. In addition, Mark Van Hoen (aka Locust) redefines “Westfalia” as a lumbering, quasi-hip-hop-driven cut, while the New York-based producer Morgan Packard recasts the piece as a micro-dub exercise that's as understated as it is entrancing. Alkem Nukem clearly offers ample variety, and no doubt listeners familiar with Brocksieper's previous work will be taken aback by at least some of it.