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 It's faint, delicate, almost polite, sometimes so distant and withdrawn it's like you're hearing slight musical musings from the other side of a wall.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.