Kurt Dahlke’s Pyrolator project originally ran concurrent with his involvement in the German experimental electronic scene, including D.A.F., Der Plan, and A Certain Frank. His fifth album, however, 2011’s Neuland, comes almost 25 years after the last (Traumland), and although he had remained active in releasing music (through his label Ata Tak) and even producing (Pyrolator appeared on the excellent 2003 compilation New Deutsch), Neuland comes as a pleasant surprise -- exciting, innovative dance music from a producer who began recording during disco’s heyday. Pyrolator’s methods are partly what distinguishes this record; he uses a Monome, famous for its use by producers from Daedalus to Flying Lotus. Although Neuland isn't stylistically similar, Dahlke’s musical ideas and obvious talent at producing towering dub-techno align perfectly with producers he’s influenced (like most of the Kompakt stable). Whether or not “Hamtramck” convinces you he’s a fan of Detroit techno (he played out across the U.S., including Detroit, with Burkina Faso, a group he contributes to), Neuland is a distinctive example of faceless dance music.
by John Bush