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.