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Dance - Released January 24, 2020 | Ghostly International

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By his own admission, Recondite hasn't reinvented his sound on his second full-length for Ghostly International. The Bavarian producer continues to refine the brand of pared-down but suspenseful techno he's been releasing since the early 2010s, with dark, ominous melodies softly swirling around icy kick drums. Not quite as dramatic as 2018's brooding, soundtrack-like Daemmerlicht, Dwell also isn't as energetic as earlier club hits such as "Levo" or "Cleric" -- tracks that are still more downtrodden than most peak-time techno. As ever, though, he's excellent at what he does, and the album is a cohesive collection of beat-driven mood pieces crafted with precision and attention to detail. The opening title track might not seem to have too many elements, but he arranges them in a crafty manner -- the digital snares and soft, bell-like melodies subtly rotate throughout the speakers, to mesmerizing effect. "Black Letter" is another prime example of the sort of chilling, wintry techno Recondite makes. More chilling or haunting than scary, it weaves foreboding melodies around a softly insistent beat, one that seems to sharply walk forward rather than run for its life. The album contains a few downtempo cuts which point to trap as an influence, but they don't particularly divert from the same mood as the rest of the tracks. "Mirror Games" seems a bit more club-tooled, particularly due to its deep-down bass line and EQ'd beats, and "Cure" is similar but airier and more cloudlike. Overall, Dwell is a stirring album best enjoyed at home during the middle of winter, when the weather renders venturing outdoors a fool's task. [Curiously, the album's most upbeat (and possibly best) selection, "Equal," is relegated to digital bonus-track status.] ~ Paul Simpson

Dance - Released December 11, 2019 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 11, 2013 | Ghostly International

Lorenz Brunner's first album as Recondite, On Acid, deweaponized acid. The squelching, high-pitched bass sound of the Roland TB-303 synthesizer-sequencer was converted to gentler, sadder tones that sounded like they were lightly plucked or sensitively struck. After its release, Brunner continued to release 12" EPs for a handful of labels, including his own Plangent, as well as Ghostly International -- no stranger to releases of pared down, melodic, and emotive techno that works in private and public settings, such as Lawrence's Spark EP. For Hinterland, also on Ghostly, Brunner dispenses with acid, yet he retains the downtempo approach across 49 minutes, enhanced with field recordings from his Bavarian hometown. He also picks up the pace a bit -- as on the swift digital single "Stems" and "Abscondence," the latter of which contains a gorgeous, slightly tangled music-box melody -- though the overriding intent seems to be for headphones and small spaces. Briefer tracks such as "Rise," "Floe," and "The Fade" seem to have been made with just as much attention to detail as the longer tracks that naturally attract more attention. The dominant somber mood lifts occasionally for the juicy "Riant," with a soft and bright melody, while "Leafs" has the faintest touch of sweetness, like a wisp of meringue. Hinterland's wider range of sounds and finer details make it even more impressive and enjoyable than Brunner's full-length debut. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electronic/Dance - Released November 11, 2016 | Ghostly International

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Corvus was Lorenz Brunner's third Recondite release of 2016, issued after the three-track 12" Osa (for Innervisions) and two-track Phalanx (for Hotflush). For his return to the Ghostly International label, the outlet for high-water mark Hinterland, Brunner delivers four more lean and pristine techno productions that straddle the divide between disquieting and soothing. The title track goes almost over the top with a sample of cawing birds, though its chiming melodies and snug bassline are as prominent. With its hollowed-out knocking melody, lead track "Capable" is playful by Brunner's standard. A Ricardo Donoso remix teases out its suspenseful quality and adds a pulse-racing synthesizer sequence and string swarm. "Kauz" is a functional dank warehouse track, while "Huibu," less substantial, is a downtempo creeper. This is a satisfactory EP compared to Brunner's past work. ~ Andy Kellman

Techno - Released July 28, 2017 | Hotflush Recordings

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Electronic/Dance - Released May 2, 2014 | Hotflush Recordings

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 15, 2014 | Hotflush Recordings

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Electronic/Dance - Released June 15, 2015 | Life And Death

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 4, 2016 | Ghostly International

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Dance - Released January 8, 2020 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 21, 2013 | Ghostly International

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Techno - Released May 4, 2013 | Midnight Shift

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Techno - Released February 15, 2019 | Hotflush Recordings