Das Muster / Pukemaster Gehm :: Double review (Solar One)

This duo builds on the quality that is already part and parcel of this impressive German imprint.

Solar One

The renaissance of vinyl has its drawbacks. True its good business for those few pressing plants in existence, capital feeding aging production methods and cold war technologies. But it is definitely hurting small labels. The delays seem to be growing. Releases are announced, delayed, re-announced and then re-delayed. Europeans are suffering the most with waiting times stretching into months. That’s why I was so surprised to hear tell of two new Solar One pressed and ready on shop shelves. Who knows how they’ve done it, but they have.

Das Muster, Marcus Mumm, is a German producer who has displayed his Electro wares for labels like Transient Force. Two years ago he featured on SOM with an album, but Reaktionszeit is Mumm’s first foray on vinyl and marks the final instalment on the Elektronische Werke series. Coldness descends on the needle drop. Temperatures plummet as “Die Suche” arrives. Stark, bare and unadorned electronics is the output. Looping darkness pierced by a frosted snare, keys cutting into the gloom. Plunge fists into pockets after flicking up coat lapels as there isn’t going to be a thaw, electronic ice-clad gusts hale down. Sci-fi moods undercut the tundra, warbling trills and spiny synths giving form to “Abgeschlossener Vorbang.” Winds bluster and swirl, metal rattling in the freezing gales. Bleakness encircles Das Muster’s reduced formula, a sinister and spartan sound captured in the blacks and greys of “Spaetfolgen.” Coldness running to night.

Andreas Gehm is one musician who isn’t feeling the pinch, not productivity wise anyway. My keyboard is still warm from the last time I tapped in his surname. Fresh from his activity on Lower Parts the SOM veteran is back for some putrid pink punch-ups under the pseudonym of Pukemaster Gehm. With a title like 303 Degrees, alongside the German’s track record, the style being pursued isn’t too hard to guess. Acid. Acid? Acid! Rusting Roland machines are the weapons of choice and the Japanese company’s most successful failure, that bass box that couldn’t and then did, is at the epicentre of the EP. Punishing pound, serrating snares, corrosive claps and that unmistakable toxic squawk are brought together over a quartet of dancefloor melters. From the opener, “303 Degrees Below Zero” to the Bam Bam inspired “Aha,” Gehm does what he does belt, wave after wave of analogue arsenic attack.

I was going to say that latest dual installment sees the poles of SOM on display, Arctic frost to radioactive radials. But that would be to simplify the Solar One project. Instead this duo builds on the quality that is already part and parcel of this impressive German imprint.

Both releases are available on Solar One.

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