Richard Bartz

Sci-Fi

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Being a frequent collaborator with DJ Hell and consistently playing alongside the most revered of German DJs, including Sven Väth and Electric Indigo, you should expect nothing but good things from Richard Bartz. This brief mini-album for techno couture house Disko B offers up seven pieces of inventive acid techno that far outdo the studio work of Bartz's big-name peers. "München 70" rides a heavy flanger across a sparse and stuttering beat, while "Double Trouble" goes double time with a quickened pace and piercing high-range squeal that will make the back of your neck tense up. "Blunted" also approaches the threshold of discomfort with a static peeling noise that will drive those not fond of Velcro to absolute insanity. But it's not the annoyance factor that makes Bartz's techno stand out from the pack. Rather, it is the way he takes these dissonant sounds and turns them into fractal-like symphonies that are devoid of techno's typical heavy-handedness. Bartz clearly spends most of his studio time working in the top of the audible spectrum, while most techno producers remain fixated on the low end. This might not sound like the best process for creating dance music, but Bartz pulls it off, creating tracks perfect for waking up dancers who have been otherwise pummeled ceaselessly by hours of booming bass.

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