this revivalism bull shit can really get one down.
'in germany, they can't say 'techno,' they say 'teshno'' ~ seth troxler [march 2008]
although she is best known for extended sets that explore decades of deep house and techno history with ease at panorama bar, the thing that strikes most about steffi’s entry into the club’s esteemed mix series is how it never seems to try too hard.
on may 13th, ostgut ton will release the fifth in their series of panorama bar mixes, as helmed by berlin based dj and producer, steffi.
ok, here comes a list of my thirty favourite long players (including one re-issue and following my top 10 compilations) of 2011. like last year, i’m not that sure of the order beyond the first few, but these are the records which i’m still listening to, still enjoying and – in many cases – still astounded by. the only other thing to note is the lack of many bass/dubstep albums. efforts from kuedo, sepulcre and machine drum will all top many polls elsewhere on the web, i’m sure, but i just never quite sit comfortably when they are playing. necessarily then, in case you wondered, i’ve overlooked them. but it ain’t like i was short on choice…
thought i’d weigh in on this one because it’s proved divisive so far. if you’ve heard any of steffi‘s records (there have been only six) you’ll likely know the issue… can something so familiar and un-original be in any way considered ‘good’? of course it can, as long as it’s done well and shies away from pastiche, and that’s exactly the case throughout the frictionless house excursion that is steffi’s ostgut ton released debut, yours & mine.
also worth considering when embroiled in the artistic merit vs regurgitative cop-out debate is the fact that this berlin based producer is primarily a dj and, by all accounts (haven’t seen her, will soon thankfully) an excellent one. it makes sense, then, that she will make records informed by her many hours at the helm of one of the most revered dancefloors of the day (pbar): she knows exactly the sort of record which gets people moving, so why re-invent the wheel? why not just finely tune what you know to fit your own purpose? as such, come to this expecting warm, high quality, deep-but-driving house music that isn’t too down on itself, and you’ll not be disappointed…
the album hits the ground running with ‘lilo’ which, like the record overall, is built on (and focuses around) an assertive house groove. throughout, discrete acid twitches prick an otherwise harmonic cloud of chords which lingers throughout, and the first surge down into deep space has begun… from there, the kicks spread further apart and the sounds in-between wiggle a little more, or machines get unleashed and sounds bend and ping-pong about more freely, but the grooves are continuous, long and deep, and remain ever present reminders that this is dancing music. classy dancing music, but dancing music.
‘manic moods’ encapsulates the album in six minutes – punchy kicks and firm but not immovable basslines with, should you look for them, some subtle future motifs and cute sci-fi signifiers off somewhere in the distance. it says a lot about the quality of these tracks that, although they are all variations on a tried-and-tested theme, sticking nine of them together on an album doesn’t add up to a bit of a chore come the final few. punctuated as the album is with standouts like the chunky analogue bounce and unashamed vocal passion of ‘yours,’ though, and the amassed effect is instead a well balanced concoction of rejoice and reserve. essentially, these are the powerful tools of steffi’s very personal trade. if you like her trade, you’ll like her tools, because a finer set it would be hard to find.