Review: Marlon Hoffstadt – ‘Ready For Take Hoff’ (Midnight Themes)

The kingdom of Marlon Hoffstadt is multi-faceted. A producer, DJ, party-runner, publicist and label-owner, he’s really coming into his own. Many twists and turns led him to recoup control of his musical destiny with the initiation of his own imprint Midnight Themes and with that quickening the pace of his output tenfold. Yet, his Ready For Take Hoff EP hints this may only be the beginning.

As with any artist, Hoffstadt’s sound has developed and evolved since his first record back in 2011. But with such a journey behind him, Ready For Take Hoff signals a distinct turning point. He’s climbed into the driver’s seat, he’s poised and he’s ready – declaring ‘I am Marlon Hoffstadt and I am here! Let me take you on a trip’. Much like a trip, this boundless EP is one that keeps on giving, from its sound to its messaging, the world of Hoffstadt comes into one across the seemingly personal five-tracker.

Written for the pumping dancefloors of his ‘Savour The Moment’ soiree, Hoffstadt’s dancefloor ideology is embodied in this record. From the word go, ‘Captains Announcement’ switches up our attention in a flurry of flickering ticks, as a pitched down automated voice soon arrives to remind us ‘Turn-off-your-phone… Savour The Moment…Flight mode is the best mode’. A theme that persists for the duration, it’s one that you really can’t argue with; one is not simply encouraged to switch off and enjoy the ride, but whisked away in its tantalising clutches from lift-off. Pacey and tempestuous synthlines bring a serious yet wicked sense of anticipation, that is all somewhat cinematic; suspense builds. Electro sensibilities intensify, infused later with angelic arps and flitting melodies – the first hit of Hoff euphoria is administered and the rush is unrivalled.

As the journey continues, may the pump well and truly be with you. Flocking ticks proceed in ‘Mucho Intensivo’, this time guiding the beat into a pulsing balearic extravaganza. If the name is suggestive of anything, we can be sure that the trip we embarked on with Hoffstadt is about to reach new and dizzying heights. Tom rhythms prance over killer kicks and slapping snares before we blast off into the cosmos of a nu-disco dream. If you thought you couldn’t get any higher, think again! Not before long, you’re engulfed in the next wave of unparalleled and nummy melodic goodness, with emotive strings for an added WOOMPH! Of togetherness – rave utopia is alive and it’s in this track.

Things begin to get serious when we become ‘Lost In Feed’. We’re met by the terror-some voice of the mad music master who reels ‘I am the Master! You’re the machine!’, marching in unison with a gyrating melody and chest-thumping EBM-esque 4×4. On a mission to save the raving human race from the technological inheritance of the modern era, we see the messaging of Hoffstadt carry through here once again. Subverting the polls of power and instilling in us the strength to stay locked in the now, he reminds us – we are the humans in charge of our machines, our machines are not in charge of us! A timely theme to explore in an age inhabited by scrolling dopamine addicts with information overload, Hoffstadt still manages to not take himself too seriously, deploying lashings of Hi-NRG hilarity and flawlessly taking the edge of in the process.

Coming into contact with ‘Der Eurotrancer’, pirouetting Italo-synths unfold led by eurobeat-style feelers. A ‘palette cleanser’ some might call it. My first and only real quibble is that perhaps, ‘Der Eurotrancer’ shouldn’t have been invited. Nonetheless, knowing the work of Hoffstadt, we can be sure there is method behind the madness; an essential act in the crafting, perhaps?

Where there is time for a recharge, there leaves room for one last blast at the pumpathon with the arrival of ‘Der Hoffmaster’. Wasting no time getting straight down to business, the pounding kicks resume with brazen hats in tow; the BPM soars. If there’s one thing to pay particular adoration to across this EP, is Hoffstadt’s knack for beguiling melodies and arrangements. As bouncy disco synths spin us into an almighty stir, a heavenly harp-sounding glow emirates as flourishes of eurobeat charm chime in and out.

Winding back down to earth with the pumping beat that ignited our initial ascent, it’s safe to say that Hoffstadt has played one hell of a host. You come round and you’re left not knowing exactly what just happened, but feeling you most definitely want to do it all again. If this five track EP sees Hoffstadt simply being ‘Ready For Take Hoff’ this only begs one further and final question – where is the album?!

Words: Sophie McNulty 

Ready For Take Hoff is out now.

Buy it here.

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