Although he had been busy with some high profile 12"s and projects -- up to and including Fainting by Numbers, his duo with Hot Chip member Alexis Taylor -- Justus Köhncke spent five years away from the album format when this 2013 release landed, cheeky cover and all. Don't get it twisted because Köhncke is still a German techno producer worthy of being on the lofty roster of Kompakt. He's also one of the label's most fun and lighthearted artists, charming listeners with the busy and cute bleeps that bubble throughout the late album highlight "Nucleus Accumbens," or borrowing the sunshine vibe of Nile Rodgers and Chic with happy disco rollers like "A New Direction." His love of '80s synth-pop is often referenced as "Das Selbstgespräch" effortlessly slides from a Telex-like and small pop song to a Trevor Horn-sized, lush production number, sounding like the lads from Frankie Goes to Hollywood learned some restraint while hanging out in the Kompakt offices. As far as techno, "Idee, Prozees, Ergebnis" is classic German rave soundtrack stuff that grows into a party as it ping-pongs across the speakers; then it gives way to the excellent "Loop," a minimal, simple, and banging number that connects the dots between early Derrick May 12"s and spacey video game soundtracks. The breathy vocals and indie-electro pop style of "Tell Me," plus the closing, slow tempo send-off "Now That I Found You," round out the effort and display how being "album-minded" is always a strength for Köhncke, but the quirky and antiquey title track is nothing but a cute lark and comes off as a bit trite in such purposeful surroundings. Think of it as a slight misstep or comedic interlude, but otherwise, this is engaging sweet techno with a smile, carefully crafted and yet seemingly carefree.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries