Thomas Fehlmann

Gute Luft

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Commissioned to provide music for the ambitious documentary series 24h Berlin, Thomas Fehlmann whipped up a surplus of his uniquely dub-dipped ambient techno, and he edited all of it down for Kompakt release as the 70-minute Gute Luft. That the disc shares its title with a song Fehlmann recorded in the early '80s with post-punk band Palais Schaumburg is mostly coincidental; "gute luft" translates to "good air," and the crisp atmospheres that have been part of Fehlmann's output for so long needed to be given only a slightly greater emphasis for the sake of a release with this title. Many of these tracks, especially the ones that carry a slight chug, like "Schwerelos" and "Permanent Touch," produce a hovering-just-above-ground sensation, like being propelled through Berlin on a swift hovercraft. The more contemplative material is almost as stimulating. "Falling into Your Eyes," with a subtle symphonic sweep, also carries a drone that is slightly demonic, and the closing "Scheiben" contains six minutes of the most disquieting ambience Fehlmann has made to date. Elements from his past work have been woven into the mostly new content. Experts would be hard-pressed to identify them; don't expect those wicked swinging vamps from "Gratis" to make an appearance or anything.

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