Possblthings and Pulse Drift :: Something in the Leipzig water?

Jena. Leipzig. Electro. These two towns are synonymous with quality machine music. Frigid funk. Clinical cuts. Astral reductions. The Exaltics. AC Records, Lunatic, YUYAY. All call either of these German cities home. Now two more imprints are making their presence known on the streets of Jena and Leipzig, Possblthings and Pulse Drift.

Jena. Leipzig. Electro. These two towns are synonymous with quality machine music. Frigid funk. Clinical cuts. Astral reductions. The Exaltics. AC Records, Lunatic, YUYAY. All call either of these German cities home. Now two more imprints are making their presence known on the streets of Jena and Leipzig, Possblthings and Pulse Drift.

The two labels have a common lineage. “On a local level I did and do everything connected to this genre of music I organize parties, produced some records and also do live music and djing” muses Steffan of Possblthings, an imprint he runs with Robyrt Hecht (of YUYAY) and Taz—and there’s also a record shop of the same name there if you’re wondering.

“We all grew up in Jena” echoes one of Pulse Drift’s founders Jan Hobrack (the other two Thomas Fehler and Christian Römisch.) He and a gang of mates have been “active in the Electronic music scene for over 15 years now, doing radio, organizing parties, dj-ing” but the main “main impulse was always about making music ourselves.”

I’m beginning to develop some envy for the lucky folk growing up in this hotbed of electronic music, it sounds better than rural Ireland where I found myself! Anyway, jealousy aside, the two labels appear to have almost have run in tandem.

Eoism is the product of that Pulse Drift “impulse,” with Cellarworx inaugurating the label in 2016. And you get an idea of what this collective are trying to do over the six tracks of this debut. A cold vision of the future is captured in stark pads and tight drums. Dreamscapes are painted in fine shades of white, black and grey. Organic tones are given mechanical form in the speeding shape of “The Odyssey One” with “The Eoism Airplan” morphing man with machine. Their sound is soaked in the history of electro, echoes of Drexciya and Kraftwerk, but there’s also a freshness to their style as in the warming grooves of “The Last To Know.”

The record store has been the focus for Possblthings, a fertile ground for like-minded locals to talk, listen and make…music. This “open project” was founded by a 12” from Robyrt Hecht, the boss of YUYAY. Four tracks make up Percept, with three being collaborations. “You’re Just A Narrative Told By Your Brain” opens with full body funk form. Computer vocals say “what’s what!” as sleek synthlines sing and whisper against crisp beats. Homegrown talent in the form of Milium combines with Hecht for the shadow filled moodiness of “Deception Manouvre” before more funk, and local men, appear. “Apperceptive Move,” featuring XY0815, takes bawdy basslines and decorates them with playful plinks. The only outside influence comes from Lux Rec favorite CCO, the Swiss man adding an undercurrent of acid to the brooding “Sequence of Subception.”

And would you be surprised if some of those names found their way onto Pulse Drift’s latest? Hobrack wouldn’t.” The great thing is that the city is big enough to allow for some diversity in terms of music (all kinds of genres / crews), but it’s small enough to run into each other as well… Not like in cities like Berlin or London, where every micro-genre exists in it’s own bubble… I think that’s a good thing, combining different ideas and sounds”

Transmission Europa sees XY0815 going it alone for the stark and lonesome “Helios Transit”, a brittle work of sparse arcs and transparent tones. The compilation brings together established names and new talent. Solar One alumnus Das Muster seers out of speakers with a track brimming with electricity. “Die Eisprinzessin” starts meekly, sweetened strings and understated snares, before transforming into a bruising beast of juddering bass and subtle shifts. Lectromagnetique, of Bass Agenda fame, delivers a fully fledged burner. Slow to begin, “Avoid the Void” mutates into an acid assault. Finnish master Morphology are perhaps the biggest name on the 12” and they don’t disappoint. Dipped in metal the duo offer a clean and spectral work, haunting bars punctuated by crisp percussion. The rest of the 12” is given over to new and local talent. Bosses Eoism serve up the slippery “Im Vektorraum” with a recent discovery, Zagrebački Električni, arriving with a work of frigid star gazing.

Both labels are obviously proud of their hometown, their roots and of course their machine musicians. Nevertheless, the outlook is far from blinkered, as Hobrack outlines, “Pushing talented new artists deserving the attention is something we’d like to continue doing. In fact, we are working on right now will be by a young producer from Canada that completely blew us away with his demos – forward-thinking Electro at it’s best!”

Possbl Things have, to date, focused on their local heroes but their style is far from set in stone. Their latest release, from Nachtzug, a chameleon type outfit with as many colours and moods as your stand modular synth. Steffan tells me “ne-night jam-session with lots of 80s and 90s hardware.” And that freeness, that liberty is plain to hear. Sliding from 303 drenched braindance into frigid machine funk, the 12”, XP Lore is a clear outline of future intent. Tracks are bold and display a wide spread of influences. The A-Side is fidgety, twitching and warm. The flip cold and distant with the likes of the slowly simmering “Transmit” which bubble over into an acid beast.

And why is Leipzig enjoying this age of electronics? This new dawn? This increase in output, and quality?!? From what I’ve heard it sounds like there’s a community of likeminded musicians, of passionate promoters and people who want to give time, space and vinyl to top notch machine music. Then again their might be another reason…
“higher portion of electrolytes in the water.”

possblethings.net | soundcloud.com/pulse-drift-recordings

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