For anyone who hasn't even heard the name T.Raumschmiere since the 2000s, Heimat will likely come as a surprise. German producer Marco Haas made his biggest impact with two albums of brash, semi-ironic electro-punk, released by NovaMute during the middle of that decade; since then, most of his output has arrived via his own Shitkatapult and Albumlabel imprints, and has ranged from abstract techno to the more straightforward guitar-based songwriting of I Tank U. Following a low-key, reflective, self-titled full-length released in 2015, T.Raumschmiere unexpectedly returned to Kompakt, which released two of his early singles, for his ninth album Heimat. On those early singles, Haas created tracks from the crackling runout grooves of vinyl records, terming his sound "gnarz." While sparser and nowhere near as forceful as the more song-driven recordings that would follow, they were still quite eerie and unsettling compared to most minimal techno. Heimat is closer to that early era of T.Raumschmiere than most of his other recordings, but it expands far beyond that sound. While still retaining traces of the glam-inspired schaffel beat common to most early Kompakt releases, these tracks generally have more of a detailed 4/4 thump to them, embellished with subtle tics and edits. The crackly vinyl sounds are still present (even bringing to mind a beat-focused Christian Marclay at times), but the tracks are much more developed, filled with melodies and emotions. "Jaguar" is bright and playful, with a mischievous high-pitched note plinking away over shimmering loops and bouncy beats. "Wacker" is much more dramatic, with lush strings joined by almost exotica-sounding horns and echo-covered percussion. Many other tracks carefully straddle a line between playful and ominous, with samples and micro-blips which might seem quirky but have a somewhat foreboding atmosphere. In terms of other Kompakt artists, it's like a mixture of the hazy, pastoral majesty of Gas, the warm, sun-soaked bliss of Kaito, and a pinch of the Orb's cheekiness. It's also the best T.Raumschmiere full-length, by a long shot.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson