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Ëlohim: Terrarium

Not anchoring itself anywhere else than the dialectic space, a field where bonds get tied and word unknotted. That seems to be the main postulate of Vox Populi, a young label based in Berlin but not exclusively. Founded by Fred Scharf, a Swiss-born anthropologist for whom music is the universal language by excellence, the imprint released a promising first EP in the summer of 2014, the elegant ‘Vox Populi 001’ which featured two of Nicolas Jaar’s latest signings and talented friends Valentin Stip and Solpara.

For this second installment, Ëlohim picks up the torch and delivers a rather interesting effort. Alternating wide-angled techno beats that often digress to dub extents with hazier house patterns, the Belgian producer brushes a lush synthetic jungle of sound with very diverse elements, managing to set up a functional sound decorum from apparently diverging roots. Take ‘Field of Nettles‘ with its trumpeting slivers rising from way underneath the bass line, disrupting the marching order of the stomping kicks and relentless hats with monstrously pervasive dub echoes. Ëlohim does a great job of constantly drawing out the matter through the intervention of sound effects without overindulging in the use of it.

Fortunately enough, Deepneue’s interpretation does justice to the original, focusing on letting the underlying groove grow bigger over the course of the track without badly altering the main spirit of the track. The dub echoes subside and the 4/4 pattern feels like ruffling its feather before taking off. The kind of subtle re-arrangement that gives to the track a lighter swing without denaturing the prime inventiveness of Ëlohim’s tune.

On the flip side is the more desultory ‘Germ‘, a clattering piece of mind-bending techno and fidgety groove. Unraveling bleeps and bloops that keep streaming in from every direction, the track is yet another type of dancefloor scorcher. Following the same hard-battering recipe with its herd of kicks on steroids, ‘Germ’ finds an interesting echo in Ngly’s version. A slow-moving snake of molten metal and painful claps straight in the wake of his recent collab with Florian Kupfer under their Swere moniker. No doubt, that “Satan’s bug” re-shuffling from one of 2014’s most impressive newcoming talents is definitely the right kind of poison to close such a varicolored and up-and-coming techno release.

Terrarium is out now on Vox Populi, order a copy from Bandcamp or Juno.


A1 Field of Nettles
A2 Field of Nettles (Deepneue Interpretation)
B1 Germ
B2 Germ (Ngly Satan’s Bug Remix)

Discover more about Ëlohim and Vox Populi on Inverted Audio.