For a few moments early on in Berghain 06, you wonder if this even a techno mix. 20 minutes later, you wonder if there's been a more techno mix CD released in the past few years. Norman Nodge, the Berghain resident behind 06, usually plays either the warm-up or the closing set at the famed Berlin club. And his entry into their mix series sounds like it: Gearing up slowly, it eventually hits a breakneck 134 BPM before gliding to a close.
Nodge is an old-school German techno head. A few years after the Berlin Wall fell he was organizing parties, eager to share all of the new music he was hearing. Looking over the tracklist to 06, you can see some of the names that Nodge was probably playing back then—Jeff Mills, Radioactive Man, Planetary Assault Systems. The mix even explicitly points toward the mid- to late '90s as Nodge's favorite era for techno: Tim Taylor & DJ Slip's "New York Minds," Chancellor's "Roundabouts" and DJ T-1000's "Metra" all date from the period.
Before Nodge kicks things into high gear, though, he sets the mood with slow-burning tracks from Birds Two Cage, Oni Ayhun and a Redshape remix of Mokira. Patrick Gräser's "From Foreign Territories" is when things finally switch on properly, and Nodge lets it run for five minutes, acclimating listeners to what's about to come. Once the table is set, Nodge nudges the BPM and overall intensity a little higher with each new track. The sound throughout this middle section is purist but fun—a slight twist on the widely-held belief that "Berghain techno" is dreary, cavernous or monochrome. Architectural's "Looking Ahead" starts out on the warpath, but it then opens up to reveal an almost trance-y melody. The counter-melody that rubs against the beat of Crtls' "Socket" could almost be described as giddy if it didn't hit so hard.
With landmark Berghain mixes from Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock behind them, Ostgut Ton now finds itself depending on some of its lesser-known talents to showcase the sound of the club. Marcel Fengler's Berghain 05 proved that things weren't quite as straight-ahead as you might have assumed. Nodge's effort provides further evidence that the club and label is part of a techno continuum, reminding us that tracks more than a decade old can sound just as fresh as those produced last week. That's why Berghain 06 will sound as timeless in ten years as it does now.
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Tracklist: Norman Nodge - Berghain 0601. Birds Two Cage - Gase
02. Oni Ayhun - OAR 002-B
03. Mokira - Manipulation Musik (Redshape Tape Dub)
04. Patrick GrÃƒÂ¤ser - From Foreign Territories
05. Hauntologists - Untitled (B1)
06. Staffan Linzatti - Morning
07. Jeff Mills - Keeping Of The Kept
08. Silent Servant - Untitled (A1)
09. DJ T-1000 - Metra
10. The Nighttripper - Tone Explotation (Planerary Assault Systems Remix)
11. Charlton - Black Slong
12. Architectural - Looking Ahead
13. Mark Broom - Vault 5
14. Ctrls - Socket
15. Chancellor - Roundabouts
16. Tim Taylor & DJ Slip - New York Minds
17. El Gato #9 - Coefficient Of Friction (Monty Luke Black Catalogue Remix)
18. Radioactive Man - Nastyradio
19. Xosar - Rainy Day Juno Jam (Legowelt Remix)