Heinrich Dressel :: Lurking Underwater (Barba)

Airier moments have been given substance without becoming bogged down, beats have been bolstered but not left leaden whilst melodies are still full of imagination and whimsy.

Heinrich Dressel :: Lurking Underwater (Barba)

I remember when I first came across Heinrich Dressel, his music that is. Living in Dublin, I’d recently returned from a spell abroad in Vancouver. The day job was at a magazine on the rocks and the housemates included an IT lad and a domineering banker. It was 2007. Ireland was floating high and the plunge was just on the horizon when Mons Testaceum on Strange Life Records came through the door. Crash. Crisis. Bank bailout. IMF bailout. Euro meltdown and all the other stuff since haven’t quashed the Italian artist. Valerio Lombardozzi, and his Minimal Rome imprint, has made incredible strides in the last eight years with a host of releases spanning labels like Mannequin, Bordello A Parigi and Frustrated Funk. Heinrich Dressel’s style has melted, morphed and remoulded itself over nearly a decade, with his new EP for Barba Records being proof of that.

Haven’t come across Barba? It’s a sub-label of Burek with 12”s by Alex Cortex and Marco Bernardi to date. Lombardozzi takes his cue from his latest outings for Lurking Underwater, unsurprising that elements of Waterproof Theory are in here maybe. Filleted electro alongside colder currents are present from the outset. Biting bars and stark percussion introduce the title piece, a low and wary work of surreptitious sounds. “Dark Lane” calls to mind the earlier movie score moments of Dressel, warm analogue flows and textured tones with a stern drum keeping time. Those subaquatic moods come gurgling to the surface as J.T.C. dons his aqualung. Smooth yet stretched, Mr Cotton arrives with lush pads and skewed keys for a weird and wonderful rework. Samples are submerged as swampy scale changes stalk. “Creatures From The Abyssus” is a positively soapy clean encounter in comparison. Warm and lilting bars are met by crisp rhythms in a track that cleanses palettes and leaves the listener wanting that bit more.

It’s interesting to think back to those first sounds of Heinrich Dressel and compare them to where he is now. The debut album was, and is, superb but now his tracks have more of a solid stance. Airier moments have been given substance without becoming bogged down, beats have been bolstered but not left leaden whilst melodies are still full of imagination and whimsy. Eight years on and still going strong.

Lurking Underwater is available on Berek‘s sister label Barba. [Clone]

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