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Robag Wruhme: Olgamikks

Not so long ago, Gabor Schablitzki, aka Robag Wruhme, was best known for his output as half of the now defunct Wighnomy Brothers. That changed in 2011, when Robag dropped two serene solo releases: a mix compilation, Wuppdeckmischmampflow, on Kompakt records, and an artist album, Thora Vukk, on DJ Koze’s Pampa imprint. Both albums captured the subtle melodies, murky basslines and crunchy percussion that are recurring motifs in Robag’s sonic palette, as well as showcasing the creative enterprise that ensures the German’s output is never predictable.

Robag’s latest release, The Olgamikks, offers a snapshot of his abilities from a third, overlapping standpoint: that of Robag the remixer. An album/mix compilation hybrid that marks the inaugural release on German festival Nachtdigital‘s new label, The Olgamikks is comprised entirely of Robag’s own remixes, along with two new original productions. It opens on a somewhat wistful note with Robag’s rework of Modeselektor’s ‘The White Flash’, as the inimitable vocals of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke hover over plangent strings, before the mix gradually nestles into something more evocative of a nightclub groove via cuts from Fenin and Mri. From there we go sublime, as Robag deftly moves through the soulful minimalism of his various refashionings.

Robag’s remix of Kollektiv Turmstrasse’s ‘Heimat’ is one of the many highlights that follow, absorbing the listener in its serene ascension into classical-music influenced arrangements that float atop the trademark ‘wonky’ bottom-end frequencies that populate Robag’s productions. The alchemy between wobbling bass, intricate melodies and distorted vocal snippets is a constant throughout Robag’s oeuvre, and is again on show in the manner by which he refines Gui Boratto’s ‘No Turning Back’ into something that journeys far beyond the ephemeral charms of the original track. Robag also takes up the invitation to contort Claude Vonstroke ‘The Greasy’ into a cut that is more restrained, but ultimately far more beguiling than its antecedent, as he splices it together with two other tracks, his own ‘Wolluwe’ and his refashioning of Luna City Express.

The final remix featured on the compilation, Robag’s remodeling of Audision’s ‘Yellow Sunset’, features layers of delicate harmonies that amount to a result befitting of the track’s name – it is a sunset you will return to many times over, but not before revisiting many of the other lush sonic contours collated on The Olgamikks.