Following Daso's passing, we look back on this touching record.
Daso Franke, who died of cancer earlier this week, was 26 when he released the Meine Idee EP. On the A-side sat "Meine," one of the best tracks to emerge from the golden era of minimal techno, which was peaking by the time the EP landed on Spectral Sound in 2007. This eight-minute tune, euphoric and bright, is about as musical as modern dance music gets, all swirling melodies and ascending synths, sprinkled with classic house chords. But there's a goofy minimal track at its core, heard best in the tunnelling bassline. Essential to "Meine"'s charm, that lockdown groove, straight and steady, is a counterweight to the cascading melodies above.
It's an expert move. By keeping the low-end simple, Franke gives a sturdy platform to the fireworks on top, which build up, down and up again in spouts of chaotic bliss. Then there's the crafty central breakdown, which, at only eight bars, feels tiny. Even so, it's powerful, slowly deconstructing before a moment of silence and, at last, the final explosion of sounds. It's dynamite on the dance floor, and a moment that's brought about many tears of joy.
The EP's other tracks are less ambitious. "Idee" is the deepest selection, hinged on a stuttering bassline and soft melodies. Like "Meine," the energy rises and falls but the groove stays steady, only giving way for brief moments. The fattest bassline is on "Deine Schuhe," where there's a sludge-like mess that might remind you of Mr. Oizo. The Meine Idee EP sounded euphoric in the years after it came out, but now you might hear melancholy in those chords. Don't let that stop you from playing it out, though. A product of the era that gave us Bar 25, Watergate and Panorama Bar, this EP is among the greats.