Cristian Vogel :: The Never Engine (Tresor, CD/2LP)

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(11.24.07) For me, Cristian Vogel has always been one of the more interesting techno musicians and I approach his releases with optimism. His style is unique and detached from the typical techno sound. The Never Engine is Vogel’s second album of 2007 after August’s Music for the Creations of Gilles Jobin, a highly experimental non-techno release on his own Station 55 Records. He returns to Tresor after a five year absence with what is among the most accessible techno in his discography, which came as a surprise considering that Vogel’s concept for the album is bordering on nonsensical.

Following complex explanation surrounding “interpolation between data-states” and an “engine code-named the Xpute” we are told this is the “first chapter documenting the sonic results of concentrated research and development into what could be one of the more important steps into orgone -driven electronic music.” The chances are you, like me, will be in the vast majority who do not understand and quite frankly do not care for Vogel’s methodology and are more interested in the quality of the product. What we have then is eleven slices of experimental techno that are as much dance floor material as they are headphone material.

The tracks follow somewhat formulaic foundations – fascinating, often stomping, beatwork, accompanied by deep basslines and bleeps. A casual listen might reveal bare-sounding tracks with a lack of variation throughout, however it is these factors that contribute to what can be an enthralling listen. Raw austerity and provocations of intense paranoia are rarely conjured up so convincingly. It is difficult to identify tracks as highlights from such a solid and similar sounding bunch. “XPUTE theWoopWoop” is based around a simplistic hook which somehow manages to sound phenomenal. “rogue PROTOCHI” and “PROTOCHI rearMount” take this a step further by adding eerie underlying drones to the stark and driving rhythms. “SKX engineUnderwraps” almost gives the impression of Vogel’s mysterious Never Engine crashing, as the track becomes disjointed before the beats are replaced by abrasive noise for the last few minutes. The two variants of “BOPX_BOCX” are the grooviest tracks on the album. They are more laid-back and glitchy with emerging basslines that go beyond the extreme simplicity of the other tracks. The closer “PERCOL ecoDrive” is similar to “XPUTE theWoopWoop” in concept and almost as awesome.

Vogel has reported “further massive refinements to these so-called ‘NeverEngines’ which will emerge from Station 55 as soon as they are fit for human consumption.” So expect follow-ups to this brand of conceptual gibberish and hugely absorbing techno music.

The Never Engine is out now on Tresor. [Purchase]

  • Tresor
  • Cristian Vogel
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