Brothers Wolfgang and Reinhard Voigt may be thought of as techno producers, but Die Zauberhafte Welt Der Anderen is one of their many forays into electronic music's outer-reaches. Or the best of it is, anyway. The album borrows many of its titles from German TV and cinema, and the press release comes perilously close to announcing Die Zauberhafte... as that great dance music cliché: a soundtrack for an imaginary film. At its worst, the Voigts' dense, atmospheric manipulation of interlocking loops (think: a less frenetic Field, a less traumatic Oneohtrix Point Never) descends into just such banal scene-setting. "Der Keil NRW" is action thriller stock, by way of DJ Shadow's dusty beats. "Die Glocke" even uses that tired signifier of tension, common to all TV detective shows: plucked, jazzy double-bass.
A certain bloodless, cerebral detachment is another problem. The flute-led "Sozial" sounds like the sort of elegant soft porn soundtrack that gets Balearic fans hard, but which lacks soul. The album's most techno track, "Triptychon Nummer 7," is one of those latter day Kompakt releases which riffs on sounds from cheesy old B-movies and cheap sci-fi TV. It's vaguely tribal chanting could be lifted from a black and white episode of Tarzan.
Yet, for all that, Die Zauberhafte... is far from a washout. Naturally, in experimental music, some experiments work much better than others, and there are moments of real lustre here. Clever and sonically surprising as they are, there is no need to analyse them—as much of Wolfgang Voigt's work is often discussed—in terms of musical theory. They are simply beautiful, emotionally piquant pieces. The opening tracks, "Intro König" and the piston-pumping "Der Erste Zug," are steeped in the atmospheres of Wolfgang's classic GAS work. Another high point is the hidden track, a 26-minute piece of droning hypnosis. It is an endless looped cascade of wiry metallic vibrations, like a Buddhist temple ritual where the monks hammer on harps and saw at pianos.