Review by Holly Friedlander of boutique electronic blog East To West
The feelings I have for Paul Kalkbrenner are deeply enmeshed in devouring hedonism and the first tastes of freedom. They are the organic nuances of Berlin Calling, the subtle hues of Azure, and the friendly voices of Aaron. They are the dwindling sands of Zeit. They are the first comprehensions of the German language, the first real club experiences and falling in love with ‘Sky and Sand’ in Germany, alone, at just 15. It is drunkenness and it is melancholy and it is beauty.
However, after such a blossoming desire I hated Icke Wieder. I hated the clanging processions and automated four-to-the-floor bounce that somehow Berlin Calling manages to evade. There was a rehashed metallic sound that I could not forgive. I was scared for Guten Tag. I was scared of the ‘Paul Kalkbrenner Brand’ and what it may produce. But I’ve been surprised – happily surprised – by the outcome. It is no Zeit, or Berlin Calling, that I’ve managed to hide my heart in. It’s something, like Paul, that has been ripely aged, ripely tuned.
6.03 is the longest that Kalkbrenner manages to keep you ensnared – many of the 17 tracks interspersed with other short, thirty second or minute tracks. He presents you with something sweet, something naughty, and then just as quickly takes it away. He plays with your sense of time, your sense of space. Weaving in and out of each of these sounds, he creates a net that takes you in and tangles you in knots, each ricocheting beat running through your senses, lolling your head from side to side. There is a tingling ooze of motion sickness as he throws you about. Then, just as sweetly, he pops soothing ginger in your mouth and reels you back in.
The thing about Kalkbrenner and Guten Tag is the perfect balance between light and dark. It is late-night techno without being sinister or industrial. It’s the low frequencies of Spitz-Auge’s intro balanced with the insane kick drum of its guts. It’s the soft rumble of hi-hats in Trümmerung next to shaking, thudding bass. When tracks hint that they may never end, they do. When you think they will end, they don’t. Forever caught in a void; back and forth, back and forth.
Hello, Guten Tag, we are here.