Fresh from their #1 label, #1 mix and #1 artist album rankings in RA's 2008 year-end polls, Ostgut Ton will release an album by Ben Klock entitled One. (Guys, we like you already: You don't have to stump for more votes.) But before One, we have, well, Before One, an EP of four tracks—three of which have apparently not made it to the full-length. And while the contrarian in me desperately wants to tell you how Ostgut has lost its way, I'd be lying.
For those not familiar, Klock is an Ostgut man, not a Panorama Bar denizen. That means what we have here is stripped-to-the-bone techno, shorn so completely of its emotion that it can't help but ooze it anyway. "Napoleon Hill" shimmers its way out of the gate with both a beat and melody that shiver. It's dark and pounding, but also slow—easing its way through while its synth slices through the murk to become clearer and clearer until it seems as though it's about to cut you. And then recedes backwards like nothing happened. "Subzero," meanwhile, lives up to its name and builds a cold groove out of a sibilant cymbal and a kick drum that never lets up. "Before One" heads the flipside and it's business as usual, but a step above what has come before it. Five bell notes are all Klock needs to induce a trance-like state over a steady kick, marking time before the main attraction, a fluttering synth blurt shows up.
"Init Two" is the only track here that is slated to appear on Klock's forthcoming album, and it's an inspired choice for this EP. Relatively beatless aside from a swishing hi-hat, it sounds like a Pop Ambient audition, with more shimmering synths and Markus Guentner-bells. For those wondering what One might have in store, it's a tantalizing glimpse at the sheer breadth of sound that Klock is capable of. Before One is good, but One promises to be even better.
Buy Ben Klock - Before One at
Tracklist: Ben Klock - Before One A1 Napoleon Hill
B1 Before One
B2 Init Two