While Manuel Tur claims Essen—the city in which he lives with Max Heesen, the other half of Ribn—is synonymous with urban boredom, thankfully none of this ennui has infected the duo's debut 12-inch, which is captivating. There is surprisingly little Cologne influence as well, given its physical proximity. Instead, both tracks draw from the more eastern sounds of Berlin-based dub techno and, as Tur acknowledges himself, from the likes of Ian Pooley and the Frankfurt scene further to the south.
Both tracks follow similar structural lines: The spine is a seductive and steady tech house beat which immediately distinguishes them from most Berlin techno with its deeply embedded four-four. Yet the flesh imitates a classic dub techno template while never quite adhering to its stereotypes by avoiding those recognizable gaseous layers of hiss. However, the synths are metallic and layered in spiralling echoes, but with strangely delicate melodic edges. This is more evident on "Mined" than "Blossom" which alternatively works more off the force of repetition and the accumulating heaviness of the riffs as it "flowers."
Being from such a dull place, Ribn know well the art of patience and let the tracks develop slowly before revealing their potential. In both "Mined" and "Blossom" the first melodic cycle is allowed to progress to its full before the off-beat percussion is allowed to kick in and provide the swing. Similarly, the main droning riffs are repetitive, climaxing slowly with waves of addition and subtraction giving a dreamy sense of evolution. Thus each track has at its peak a balance of rough and delicate, warm stasis and cold movement, fragment and landscape, metal and flower.
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Tracklist: Ribn - Mined EP A Mined