Mikkel Metal

Close Selections

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Copenhagen's Mikkel Meldgaard has been the principal producer of the Echocord label since its 2002 inception. Based in the same city, Echocord's releases act as extensions of the dubby techno pioneered since the early '90s by interrelated Berlin labels like Basic Channel, Chain Reaction, M, Burial Mix, and Rhythm & Sound. Across numerous releases Meldgaard has shown that, despite the tremendous amount of debt, there's much left to explore with this distinct approach to techno. Close Selections compiles several tracks he has released on Echocord -- some of which have been tweaked -- while scattering a handful of new productions. A trio of mostly excellent singles for Kompakt does not factor in. Meldgaard's releases have always favored the cerebral over the physical, and this album is even further removed from the club, despite its reliance on beats. His sound is a mixture of all the above-named labels, not nearly as aggressive as Basic Channel's hard-charging menace and yet not as breezy as Rhythm & Sound's lurch and skank. The rhythmic textures are typically smears of vapor or rustling mites, but the beats are varied enough to disguise this limitation. The best tracks, such as "Larkin," "Ezla," and "Luomi," seem so amorphous -- certainly due in part to the liberal amount of echo applied -- that the experience of listening to each one can change drastically with the smallest alteration of your surroundings.

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