Mikkel Metal - Cassini / Mazurski

Mikkel Metal – ‘Cassini / Mazurski’ (Tartelet Records)

Mikkel Metal’s air-tight chassis on this, his latest EP, bridges serious gaps, so that those luminous aqua chords, humming bassline overturns and parabolic rhythmic lunges are all you’re thinking about. ‘Cassini’ would fit right in with Ben Klock’s ‘Berghain’ series in it’s focused, inviting tonality, Metal’s searching, vivacious synthesizer on ‘Cassini’, or ‘Mazurski’s intriguing vocal. As the man himself says “when I hear what we call music, it seems to me that someone is talking, and talking about his feelings, or about his ideas. But when I hear the sound of traffic, I don’t have the feeling that anyone is talking. I have the feeling that sound is acting.”

‘Cassini’ swims pleasantly, bass predominating the bars; ‘Mazurski’ treads water in low end / layered hi hat shake-up. This infers a paradigm for accomodating ambience, whereby chords are obliged to synchronize to 4/4. But Mikkel goes further, cuddling the listener’s foresight with gentle introductions of elements, and like an assembly of crickets, treats each part as a discrete entity amongst the acoustics of the room, your earphone, any speaker.

As such, the broken sample work of ‘Mazursky (Dub)’ recounts the record’s less obvious theme – socio-environmental progress – and is a bricolage not far off classic Detroit. Preceding, ‘Cassini’s melody serenades you as would a date by invitation only; the tenor-refined tone of the drums chips at Kompakt’s influence, where Mikkel was signed for three 12’s in the noughties.

The package is insofar DJ friendly, but with probable crowd reaction effusive of the point: Metal’s sound draws words from mouth – not noise from drought. And there’s reverberations on techno’s factor of being an information-driven procedure: how can you stick to the formula but still produce enigmatic goods? The answer lies in Mikkel’s subtle creativity producing a certain minimalist ecstasy within the confines of its genre.

‘Cassini / Mazurski’ is out now on Tartelet Recordings

Mick Buckingham