Talvihorros and Valles

Bass Clef
William Brittelle
Calvin Cardioid
John Daly
Delta Funktionen
DJ W!ld
Petar Dundov
Kyle Bobby Dunn
Hildur Gudnadottir
Kristian Heikkila
Stephen Hummel
I've Lost
Jamie Jones
Monika Kruse
Deniz Kurtel
Motion Sickness T. Travel
Maayan Nidam
Alex Niggemann
Padang Food Tigers
The Pirate Ship Quintet
Plvs Vltra
Sankt Otten
Simon Scott
Wadada Leo Smith
Robert Scott Thompson
Wes Willenbring

Compilations / Mixes
Air Texture II
Nic Fanciulli
GoGo Get Down

Gone Beyond / Mumbles
Maps and Diagrams
Time Dilation

Delta Funktionen: Traces

Traces is the hour-long, debut full-length from Delta Funktionen aka Dutchman Niels Luinenburg. While elements of dub (“Target”), electro (“Frozen Land”) and acid (“Enter”) surface, techno is clearly the album's nucleus around which all other styles revolve. There's a bit of a future-retro vibe to the material, with the classic feel coming from Luinenburg's preference for simple drum machine beats and the future dimension captured in the music's sleek synthetic sheen (sequenced in Ableton, the album tracks were created with FM and digital synthesizers and hardware and digital FX units). The material is helped greatly by Luinenburg's decision to not go overboard in terms of intricate sound design; instead, the music possesses a directness and melodicism that makes it all the more accessible. Interestingly, while the album feels stylistically cohesive, the tracks were produced over a long time, with some as much as three years old and others recent creations.

As good a selling point as any for the album, “Utopia” is aburst with energy, the hard slap of its snare one locus of strength for the track's muscular drive and the insistent ring of its ride cymbal another. “Redemption” and “Target” likewise roll out their slamming, bass-throbbing grooves with more than the usual degree of aggressiveness, and consequently the listener is captivated even when, sonically speaking, few of the tracks' sound elements are novel. “Onkalo” oozes a spacey, 2001: A Space Odyssey-styled vibe in overlaying its steamy pulse with a Hal 9000 voiceover, but it's during the acidy set-closer “On A Distant Journey” that Luinenburg pulls out all the stops. On fire for ten minutes, the synthesizer-heavy epic covers ample ground and makes room for, among other things, an apparent nod to Kraftwerk in a series of noise punctuations that batter the track's churning rhythms. In these instances and elsewhere, Luinenburg infuses the material with a force of conviction and emotional heft that helps lift it above the average techno production. It takes very little for the listener to get swept up by his material (“Target” is especially infectious), and as such any lack of uniqueness in the sonic palette Luinenburg brings to the Delta Funktionen sound becomes easier to overlook.

June 2012