Thomas Brinkmann


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The first record of this 13 part series -- that moves all the way through the alphabet -- finds the prolific Cologne artist laying down an immensely minimal style of techno characterized by intricate symmetry and a light sensation. The rather fascinating array of percussive sounds brought together to form the rhythm tracks of these songs causes one to marvel at the mathematical precision applied by Brinkmann. Similarly, a strong sense of relaxed ease makes this surprisingly appealing to the ears and not just the senses. Brinkmann doesn't use the harsh style of Roland 909-flavored drum kicks so prevalent in late '90s techno but rather uses some feathery beats that sound somewhat like a group of bouncing rubber balls. Each song will also interweave a certain sound -- sometimes a clang, sometimes a bang -- that add a hint of color and personality to these percussive-heavy songs. Don't think of this as ordinary Cologne techno but rather similar in spirit to Richie Hawtin's Concept records. As a singular record exploring a sole idea, this Ernst release should satisfy; however, the way Brinkmann churns out these records may work for DJs, especially with the locked grooves and similar motifs, but the more critical home listener may get a bit turned off by the sense of assembly line-like production.