Available on: Ostgut Ton 12″
Long-time Ostgut Ton artist Marcel Fengler is less well-known outside of Berlin than his cohorts Ben Klock, Len Faki and Marcel Dettmann, but he’s a decent recording artist in his own right. His latest three-tracker for the label is diverse – within the parameters of the Berghain sound – and, needless to say, exquisitely produced. But is it anything more than that? Does it need to be anything more than that?
A-side and title track ‘Twisted Bleach’ sounds as fierce as it does familiar; it could be pulled from any one of those Seldom Felt or MDR 12″s from months and years gone by. It’s a simple but effective formula: Basic Channel-inspired chords, a prominent Chicago jack influence and oodles and oodles of space between each crisply rendered element (the press release references Soundstream, not unjustly). ‘Gridlock’ reminds me a little of recent Mike Dehnert fare, a bassy warehouse groove that has bite but isn’t at all memorable. The lankly syncopated ‘Chi Twine’ is perhaps the most interesting track here. Led by a breakbeat rather than a straight 4/4, it lacks the perfect balance of similar(ish) outings by Shed but nonetheless sounds quite fresh, the Reese-style bass which lurks in the background lending an agreeable air of murk and menace to proceedings.
So is the 12″ worth your time and money? If you’re a DJ, then yes. ‘Twisted Bleach’ in particular will knock any dancefloor for six, and ‘Gridlocked’ is made for deep submersion in the mix. The rest of us should exercise caution. ‘Chi Twine’ may capture the imagination, but there’s just not enough substance to reward repeat listening.