As half of the now sadly defunct DJ superheroes Wighnomy Brothers, Robag Wruhme—or Gabor Schablizki as Mama would have it—made it quite clear in an interview with RA a few years ago that the music coming out of the Wighnomy camp over the years was exclusively his design. Across the last decade or so, material under the Wighnomy banner had emerged mainly on the duo's own label, Freude Am Tanzen, and kindred-spirit imprints like Kompakt and WB Records. But Wruhme and longtime deck bro Soren Bodner had established their brand over their long-lionized sets and parties in the midst of the minimal explosion in the early to mid-'00s, and then on attempts to capture those very melodic, hyperkinetic sets for the homebodies on 2008's mix, Metawuffmischfelge.
With the news late in 2009 that the two were set to go their separate ways, perhaps the sting was balmed for fans a bit by the revelation a little while later that Wruhme would release a new mix for Kompakt in early 2011 and then unveil his long-awaited second album for DJ Koze's Pampa Records. The mix—another typically leaden Wighnomy-ism, Wuppdeckmischmampflow—was trademark Kompakt, a warm, elastic assembly that served as a kind of Wruhme aural comfort-food.
A suitable companion piece for that set, Wruhme's album, Thora Vukk, fittingly now finds him treading very similar terrain. An assembly of field recordings—from drawers shutting to more natural sounds like the fall of rain and children mumbling—laced into elegant, refined tracks, the album may best be described as "clinking glass minimalism." At its most intricate, it resembles a brighter take on the detailed layering, reliance on space and percussive trickery of mid-'00s Perlon or Cadenza. Offset by a series of "brücke," or bridge, pieces that function as short palette cleansers between slightly meatier tracks, it's not as though anything on Thora Vukk really slams though. In fact, it'd be hard to hear hints of his gonzo party-crafting in these soothing, warm-bath creations.
Instead, Wruhme leans more toward downtempo or ambient realms, revolving slowly around piano loops, faint percussive thumps and various unidentifiable rhythmic bounces. It's faint, delicate, almost polite, sometimes so distant and withdrawn it's like you're hearing slight musical musings from the other side of a wall. With glowing pads and one of the album's many melancholy piano loops, the title track almost seems to twinkle and buzz more than it bounces, and "Tulpa Ovi" is similarly contemplative, a comforting bit of cocktail-hour house. With its soft, loping percussion and ornate piano, "Prognosen Bomm" might result from Max Richter trying his hands at house music, while closer "Ende" tumbles along a shaky rhythm as it eases you into its hushed lullaby tones. With the end of his long-term partnership, Thora Vukk finds Wruhme in a period of serene self-reconsideration as a producer. He's channeled the overt melodicism of his/their CD mixes into something patient and quietly tender, and the result is another success both for him and for Pampa.
Buy Robag Wruhme - Thora Vukk at
Tracklist: Robag Wruhme - Thora Vukk 01. Wupp Dek
02. Thora Vukk
03. Bruecke Eins
04. Bommsen Boeff
05. Bruecke Zwei
06. Pnom Gobal
07. Bruecke Drei
08. Tulpa Ovi
09. Bruecke Vier
10. Prognosen Bomm
11. Bruecke Fuenf
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