As much as Framework was a great album crafted with style and intelligence – more ‘classic’ on many levels and perhaps less audacious – Lichtbedingt shows Mike Dehnert’s new aspirations. He stretches the limits of his music, blowing open the shutters and letting more light in. His signature sound grows deeper as he juggles intricate structures and crosses multiple sonic layers as though they were one, adding more and more dimensions to his compositions.
Emlo and Espace are perfect examples of these experimentations that you wouldn’t expect coming from the techno master, mixing a heavy bassline with little obsessive melodies, playing with elements like bricks of lego. Mike Dehnert has the talent to make it look simple but never boring, tickling your curiosity with what sounds like surreal haikus on repeat. You can’t deny a contemplative touch.
That said, Dehnert is faithful to what made his reputation and keeps dropping his usual blitz of techno bombs. Tracks such as Channeled and Woop will keep everyone sweaty with their implacable swing and relentless groove, reminiscent of a dark sky full of massive techno tunes hailing over you like acid rain. Not to mention ReRe, a total banger that keeps slicing your brain up like strobe lights blinking hard in the club and Movement, a monster of techno wrath waking up from nowhere and crushing you in between its hi-hats. Last but not least, En Outre ends the journey on a joyous mix of old-school housey rhythms and reverb-drenched vocals – the crème de la crème.
In the end, the whole album feels more balanced than any of Dehnert’s previous LPs. The German producer proves once again that he’s one of the most underrated techno craftsmen. With this album, Dehnert demonstrates his consistency, switching with finesse from techno to housey patterns, finely sharpening his tunes – quietly delivering one of the best techno albums of the year so far.