Various Artists

Headquarters: The Album [Tresor]

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In theory, Headquarters represented Tresor's attempt to showcase new talent at their renowned club, particularly a camp of young Berlin techno artists influenced by Tresor's early roster: Jeff Mills, Maurizio, 3 Phase, and Robert Hood. This new generation of artists profiled on Headquarters: The Album definitely show their influences, producing their tracks with the dark-sounding Roland drum machines popularized by the early Detroit artists. Yet while their sound may resemble that of the early '90s Underground Resistance catalog, their approach is somewhat different, focusing more on experimental song structuring and polyrhythms than what the early Detroit artists were doing. In particular, the contributions of Pacou and Sender Berlin attract attention with their eccentric sounds and uncanny composition, and this alien tendency clearly stands as the most appealing aspect of their music. In addition, while the three songs attributed to Eleve may not necessarily be the best moments on the compilation, they surely stand out with their brave approach to experimentation, reaching into a fresh palette of sounds rarely heard within the expansive language of techno. So while this is one of the more uncanny collections of music compiled by Tresor, this same championed sense of experimentation also keeps the album from being entirely brilliant. There are a few moments that stand out as wonderful; for the most part though, these songs take too many risks to allow for consistency, making this a spotty album that at times uncovers the sublime, and other times falls into the category of mundane weirdness.

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