What happened to MBF? They went from My Best Friend to someone I'm ashamed to be seen with, and judging by the volume of MBF records in secondhand bins I'm not alone. Their minimal-electrohouse thing sounded pretty fresh in 2005; now it seems less stale than...confused, clutching at ideas with little direction or confidence. The label's debut mix 'Flashback' offered an excellent overview of their early hits, from Youthanasia's flagrant 'Blue Monday' pastiche 'Mondo Cane' to Break 3000's terrifyingly huge 'Flash'. Now, we have the dreary prog of Bukkador and Fishbeck, Silent Jeffs' hyperactive nu-rave and the washed-out house of Chaim.
Perhaps sensing this, boss Triple R (Riley Reinhold) has handed the DJ reins to Oliver Klein and Martin Eyerer for MBF mix number two, and given them free reign to play whatever they like. Klein and Eyerer have credits dating back to early nineties acid and trance, and they have been responsible for some of the label's better moments of late ('Al Quadus', 'Tiflis'). With one disc each, they couldn't offer a better and more convincing demonstration of techno's present spirit, skirting the divide between bone-dry minimal jitters and deeper, darker moods. There's little MBF product here save a couple of the DJs' own productions, but - or so? – the results are spellbinding.
Beginning with My My's hiccupping take on Duoteque's 'Amacord', Eyerer takes the dry route, delivering a rapid-fire mix of uptight repetition akin to a Roman Flügel set. Björn Wilke's blippity 'What If' brings on the payoff early, before a gloomier stretch between James What's 'Follicle' and the sloppy crunk of Elektrochemie's 'Mucky Star'. A stretch of predictably crisp faves follows, which may tire quickly - Magda's mix of 'Gotham Road', Konrad Black's version of 'Baby Kate', with Eyerer and Klein's own 'Monza' squeezed perfectly in between – but Eyerer remains focused and the music exciting throughout. The bold shapes and jazzy keys of Dusty Kid's 'Cowboys' is the closer, hinting at the housier terrain to come.
Klein shoots lower and flatter but he's working with similar tools, and his deeper forays are fleeting and never sound contrived. Sebo K's rotund mix of King Roc's 'Welcome to Zion' opens the mix in high gear before the squelch of house emerges in Mathias Tanzmann's 'Nip Slip', Klein dipping into the history of the sound (G Flame and Mr G's 'Give n Take') as well as recent updates (Ray Valioso). Later there are sharper sounds: Random Play toy with drink twizzlers in 'Hovvy Roller' and Dachsund's 'Somehow' spits a wonky three-note line out of whack. The final stretch is a fearsome delight, with SL3's whacked stabs and Pan/Tone's overblown synths all leading to the set's crescendo, Chris Gruber's noir-epic 'Marv'. Over smoky arpeggios and charcoal pads, a Lee Van Cleef-sound-alike recites a drunk-murder tale worthy of Chandler, positively chilling and worth tracking down on its own.
Both mixes offer exhilarating glimpses at slamming modern German techno, with Klein's effort both the more contemporary and longer-lasting. Clearly MBF recognises quality, but they need to start making more of it themselves.
Buy Martin Eyerer and Oliver Klein - Movement at
Tracklist: Martin Eyerer and Oliver Klein - MovementCD1 mixed by Martin Eyerer
01 Duoteque - Amarcord (My My Remix)
02 Matthias Tanzmann - Procon
03 Björn Wilke - What If
04 James What - Follicle
05 Rob Mello - Give Me
06 Johnny Wagner – Intercity (Daniel Stefanik Remix)
07 Shlomi Aber - Freakside
08 Elektrochemie - Mucky Star/Dub
09 Ryan Crosson - Gotham Road (Magda Remix)
10 Martin Eyerer & Oliver Klein - Monza
11 Heartthrob - Baby Kate (Konrad Black Remix)
12 Martin Eyerer & Toni Rios - Chorizo
13 Plasmik - Mindpattern
14 Dusty Kid - Cowboys
CD2 mixed by Oliver Klein
01 King Roc - Welcome To The Zion (Sebo K & Metro Remix)
02 D-Nox & Beckers - Shanghigh
03 Mathias Tanzmann - Nip Slip
04 Pascal Feos - Bring The Beat Back (Oliver Klein Remix)
05 Ray Valioso - Get The Strings?
06 G Flame & Mr.G - Give 'N' Take
07 Random Play - Hovvy Roller
08 Dachshund - Somehow
09 Rejected - SL 3
10 Pan/Tone - Tomorrow Never New
11 Move D - Anne Will/Dennis Karimani Remix
12 Chris Grubber - Marv
13 Martin Eyerer & Oliver Klein - Tiflis
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