'in germany, they can't say 'techno,' they say 'teshno'' ~ seth troxler [march 2008]
cologne label ava are to release their first lp in january 2013 entitled mister pink, what have you been smokin’? by damiano von erckert & tito wun.
carrying on from where he left off on his first release, ava. boss damiano von erckert again fuses classic house aesthetics with more modern motifs on his paradoxically entitled ‘i think we agree, the past is over’ ep. sure, listening to it does suggest the cologne man believes the past is over – no track here is a plain homage to any particular point in the past – but that’s not to say they wholly forget or disregard what went before. the careful manipulation of time and space, the warm and fuzzily designed sounds and a focus on soul rather than machine power all mark them out as things of heritage rather than brassy new blood.
so last week i reviewed damiano von erckert’s debut release, then spoke to him about life, his label ava. and other stuff, now i’m happy to be hosting this mix from the cologne man as the 5th installment of the teshcast series. but a glance down the tasty tracklist should get any house fan all excited given the inclusion of venerated names like omar s, soulphiction, and kyle hall, whist listening to them blended together with martyn, kraftwerk and 6th borough project is no dull experience either.
if you don’t know this classy house leaning label or producer, which you may well not, i’d start by reading this review of the first release. now having hopefully got an idea of what the man is all about, read on for the first insight into the mind, music and imprint of cologne’s damiano von erckert: he has interesting things to say about the famously kompakt aligned cologne scene, as well as a refreshingly laid-back approach to life and some earnest ideals when it comes to the value of music and art… (also, keep your eyes open for a teshcast from damiano in the coming days.)
this is an exciting release – it’s not only comprised of four great tracks, but it also announces the auspicious arrival of a brand new label from cologne, and a brand new production talent from the same electronic hotbed. damiano von erckert is that talent, and ava. is his label. read the imprint’s short bio and you instantly suspect it means business; listen to its first release and you know so.
the one solo contribution from von erckert is the highlight: ‘untitled emotion’ is a patient, unassuming record that builds through lo-humming bells and a churning mechanical groove. when the ‘bap’ is added to the kick’s ‘boom’, it’s firmed up into what could become tech house. but it doesn’t; it’s too bouncy for that. instead, it reveals itself to be a deep space jam once a digital blip bleeds into the mix, growing ever louder and rising like the sun of a new day. subtle synth tweaks, barely-there vocal patches and an ethereal veil flesh out the rawness into something far more powerful overall than its subtle parts would suggest. restrained and delightful, it out-shines murat tepeli’s more stagnant remix for the way it pushes so effortlessly forward.
‘symphonie of a brother’ sees von eckert team up with funkycan for a simmering, less introverted house workout that instead looks outward with its muted string samples and cutesy key lines. importantly, the instrumentation feels reel rather than affected, making for another refreshing addition to anyone’s record bag. pampa man christopher rau closes this first release with a skittish percussive number all antsy with the gasps of voices and claps but bathed in an inviting warmth. it’s a patchwork of sounds that add up to a tight, groovy number almost befitting of hessle audio or some other such kinetic stable.
watch out for an interview with label boss damiano tomorrow, as well as a podcast from him at the beginning of next week… clearly someone of a refined taste, it should make for excellent listening.