Like many graduates from the German school of house music, Alex Niggemann was a hip-hop head in his teens, preferring baggy pants and baseball caps to the low-slung jeans and deep cut v-neck t-shirts that have become the uniform for many DJs. His current guise, as an internationally touring house DJ and producer, was probably the last thing his teen incarnation could have imagined. In 2012 he tours the globe, dipping into different areas of the house sphere from the gritty to the sublime both as a DJ and producer. The latter is evident via a quick glance at his back catalogue of releases on labels such as Get Physical, Poker Flat and Supernature.
Debut LP Paranoid Funk serves as a summation of Niggemann's recent musical tastes. Opening track "Don't Wait" is a melodramatic funk-charged production with all the hallmarks of Niggemann's signature style; depth, a bit of melody and enough verve to satisfy the dance floor. "Easy Love" plays out in a similar manner, with echoes of Maceo Plex locked into its groove. Elsewhere though, Niggemann demonstrates his prowess in producing tight, rolling, tech house with "That Is..?!," a tension-filled, minimal journey into the murk. "Street Therapy" delves right into the dark recesses of techno, featuring street ambiance layered over a hefty, industrial foundation which undulates powerfully throughout. Niggemann proves to be deft at both, enjoying the opportunity to stretch out beyond his usual sound.
This is no more obvious than on closing track "Lovers," where Niggemann lightens the mood and shows off the piano-playing skills he learned as a youngster. Nestled in between all of these are several more dalliances with a deeper, introspective sound ("I Don't Care," "The Sweetest Thing," "Parentless Child") and more dance floor fodder, like the excellent "Back 2 Basics." Though it may not push any boundaries, with Paranoid Funk Niggemann has produced an accomplished debut effort that showcases his approach to contemporary electronic music.
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Tracklist: Alex Niggemann - Paranoid Funk 01. Don't Wait
02. The Sweetest Thing feat. Daniel Solar
04. Easy Love feat. with Florian Schirmacher
05. That Is...!?
06. Come Into My World
07. Parentless Child
08. I Don't Care (Ride Mix)
09. Street Therapy
10. Back 2 Basics feat. Benji
11. Lovers feat. Daniel John Rydell