Challenging the negative connotations associated with the proverb about Jack and his many trades, Sam Barker and Andreas Baumecker's debut album is purposed to transcend the spectrum of electronic music. Both established figures within Berlin's techno fraternity, Barker is known for co-running the Leisure System nights and his razor-edged electronica as Voltek. Baumecker, meanwhile, produces under his own name and is more integral to behind-the-scenes operations at Berghain.
Having previously collaborated on 2010's Candyflip, and then again for the equally noteworthy A Murder of Crows EP back in March, Transsektoral collates 11 new tracks from the pair's production mantle. Ranging in both tempo and texture, there's no shortage of comparisons to yesteryear along the way. "Trafo," the first proper track, is reminiscent of the doe-eyed abandon of the Two Lone Swordsmen's pre-millennial output, before "Schlang Bang" marks a wayward shift towards the off-kilter prose of Solid Groove.
With its sardonically chilling keys, "Crows" represents something of an "Organ Donor" for the Berghain generation, while "Sektor" and "Tranq" align more with Sheffield's first wave of IDM pioneers. Disciples of Ostgut Ton's usual artillery should find ample solace in the dark craft of "Buttcracker" and "Silo," with "Trans-It" essentially being a hardware-charged interpretation of "Xpander"-era progressive trance. Whereas all the aforementioned risks pay off, the ethereal garage of "No Body" feels a bit '09, and the scaling finale "Spur" eventually courts unrequired sentimentality.
Despite this kitchen sink battery, Barker & Baumecker ride an infectious fluidity throughout, and while it may not be flawless in content, it does come satisfyingly close. With its intrepid nonconformity, masterfully undercooked programming and swagger, it's hard not to view Transsektoral as anything other than a resounding success.