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Oliver Deutschmann: Celebrate Love EP

With a disparate bunch of tracks appearing on an equally diverse range of labels, Berlin’s Oliver Deutschmann is not the easiest man to pin down; his own imprint Vidab and subsequent offshot Falkplatz have themselves followed a trajectory that defies easy prediction, offering a platform for heads-down techno, ambient introspection, and pretty much everything in between.

His latest EP arrives on Tristen’s fledgling, vinyl-only Aim imprint and is similarly remarkable. ‘Gimme Some Love’ delivers a cavernous, churning, grinding groove clocking in somewhere below 120 BPM; a tempo that could feel torpid were it not for some pleasingly-mechanical hand percussion, and even flat, were it not for insistent, low-register jazz-piano chords and a couple of breakdown & reverb-pressaged impacts to provide dramatic narrative.

Metrolux man XDB preserves a faultless discography with a re-interpretation offsetting the original’s pewtwer-black rhythmic pulse with layers of glowing texture: a 90s Good Looking-esque synth pad, a stabbing square wave pulse, and slowly-morphing, ersatz-woodwind synth incantations. The juxtaposition of the organically ambient with the darkly synthetic recalls, albeit less frenetically, Garnier’s seminal classic ‘Acid Eiffel’; it also ensures a similarly wide spectrum of usage, so expect to hear this one with frequency.

On the flip, ‘Celebrate Misery’ ups the tempo for a more concertedly dancefloor-focussed affair, with a bouncing 909-driven beat overlayed with a tightly-syncopated Trax-style bassline, a portamento 7th chord pad and a spoken word sample of some mysterious provenance. The track moves along quite nicely, if a little uneventfully, although its beatless version rounding off the EP is sure to add value for many. However, it’s clear that Deutschmann’s gems this time around are to be found on the other side.