Minneapolis-via-Berlin techno don Dustin Zahn has just released his debut album on Adam Beyer’s unrelenting Drumcode imprint, with ‘Monoliths’ being perhaps the best full-length techno album I’ve heard this year. It’s not often you find a techno album that feels “full” from start to finish – often there are some questionable tracks in the overall sequence of sounds that don’t really fit in. But from the beginning in ‘1984’ to 12 tunes later in ‘Eternal Winter’, this is a record testament to Zahn’s decade-and-a-half long reign on the worldwide techno scene, and often being a part of Drumcode’s Berghain residency, ‘Sundays in Berlin’ is nothing but appropriate. Following the futurist synths of the opening tune, we get teased on what’s to follow: epic, ambitious, raw, real techno – as imperious as the album title implies and impeccably designed for the tallest speaker stacks. Dustin Zahn explained why he chose Drumcode as the base for his debut:
“Adam Beyer has supported me since day one and almost all of my output has found its way into his sets since the beginning. Aside from being a champion of my music, he has also become a good friend and has been a big help to me when times were tough. Drumcode was a major influence on me when I first started getting into techno. Getting the opportunity to do an album for an inspirational label with a massive following made choosing them an easy decision.”
This album is really, really good, and techno fans must rejoice. There’s the pulsing peak-time drive of ‘Deny Fate’ and yet there’s also epic melodic minimalism in ‘Fire In The Sky’. Fucking rad.