Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Ben Klock-One: Album Review

Techno and electro have certainly gone through a sharp rise in popularity over the last two years. The only problem with a music genre when it grows is the number of copycat artists that hop on the band wagon hoping for fifteen minutes of fame. Then the issue arises of weeding out the good artists among the plethora of wannabes.

Cue the entrance of German techno/electro producer Ben Klock.

Although he is best known in the underground Berlin scene, Klock's debut album One may be the record which breaks him through to the mainstream.
Released on Berlin label Ostgut Ton, One rides the wave between the tightly knit scenes of the minimal techno world and the larger, mainstream, techno scene. Whereas the likes of Richie Hawtin will keep to stripped down beats and loops, Klock prefers to step it up a notch and let rip from the get go, only falling back into more ambient breaks as the crescendos wind down, a brief reprise until the next song.

The opening track Coney Island begins slowly, but with a hint of menace and a synth loop that would make Missy Elliot producer Timbaland froth at the mouth.
The album barely lets up from then on for 13 tracks with some of the best techno you will hear this year. It is only half way through at the track Init One that Klock takes a slight break before returning to the heavier stuff. One is dark and menacing but never cheesy, and it is this that helps it rise above the rest.

Berlin is probably the most important place on the planet for electronic music right now and Klock proves that. It is rare that a debut can impress so much, especially when techno releases are a dime a dozen. But Klock's specific attention to detail and production will definitely see his album picked as one of the best electronic releases this year.

Review by Patrick Fennelly

Sample the sounds of Ben Klock below:

No comments: