Dettmann and Klock's earliest collaborations reflected their DJ sets at the time. Tracks like "Dawning" and "Scenario" were dubby and rhythmic with a housey groove, using snippets of melody to great effect. Character didn't come from booming kick drums or sub-bass, but with crafty percussion and the restrained, inventive use of melody. The complexity of these early tracks makes parts of Phantom Studies, a double-EP comprising their first original productions in ten years, seem one-dimensional. "No One Around" is a heavy-duty tune that's as straightforward as techno comes—it doesn't build up or down, it just rolls. The title track toys with a short key riff, a Klock trademark, only it seems louder in the mix than the riffs in, say, "Dawning," making it the focal point rather than one of a few interacting elements. It feels too obvious.
Disc two is more complex. Dettmann and Klock move from tool techno into something more adventurous, using melody creatively. "Prophet Man," featuring goofy spoken word vocals from Klock ("I can plug your cables"), borders on house with its shuffling percussion and 128 BPM crawl. "Bad Boy" is a peak-time bomb built around a ravey synth line and Phantom Studies' craftiest drum pattern, a muffled stomp with crashing hats and sneaky changes. Things are prettier on "The World Tonight," where another key riff floats above a heaving low-end chug. It's clear Dettmann and Klock's music thrives when it's stacked with subtle details and variations, something Phantom Studies could use more of.