Available on: Wandering 12″
I recently read an interview with Sven Weisemann in which he lays out his dream of one day recording movie soundtracks. I suppose that dream has always been central to the techno mythos and muse: I mean, would Carl Craig have made Landcruising had he never seen Blade Runner? Juan Atkins, Richie Hawtin, Wolfgang Voigt: so many of techno’s auteurs have cited film as a DNA-level influence on their music, and scoring film as their long-standing ambition. The fact is that techno is inherently cinematic, and its visual imagination, its power to evoke the moving image, is precisely what distinguishes it from house.
Back to Sven Weisemann. The precocious young producer gives full vent to his soundtracking fantasies on forthcoming new album, Xine. Weisemann knows how to rock a dancefloor – he famously began DJing at Tresor when he was six-fucking-teen – but his own productions, even the clubbier material, have always been notable for the painterly patience and restraint they display, the emphasis on the vertical colour of sound. On Xine Zero, a new 12″ single release containing three tracks heralding the album, Weisemann begins to pursue a more self-consciously “filmic” aesthetic, one rooted in modern classical and ambient as much as techno.
Opening track ‘Xine Light”s lush piano sequences and aching cello line inevitably bring to mind Max Richter, more his recent 24 Postcards In Full Colour than the classic Blue Notebooks. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by this unashamedly sentimental piece, but it’s been done better: by the aforementioned Richter, by people like Sylvain Chauveau, or Lawrence, who for years has been effectively merging rose-cheeked romanticism with techno dynamics, bass and beat structure. Far more successful is ‘Xine Rising’, which finds Weisemann perfecting the tremulous ambient-techno sound he showcased on his recent Shove EP, one which owes a great debt to John Beltran and his terrific 90s LPs Earth & Nightfall and Ten Days of Blue.
If ‘Xene Light’ sounded like Lawrence lite, ”Xine Zero’ sounds like Lawrence deluxe, or even SAW-era Aphex on a Balearic beach holiday [alright, calm down – Ed]. Scuffed snares keep time in a faintly martial shuffle, an amorphous bassline wriggles in and out of the picture, buttressing Weisemann’s inquisitive, overlapping keyboard melodies. This track really plays to Weisemann’s strengths, and unlike ‘Xine Light’ does the whole emotive thing without gushing.