Eyes In The Center
Tobias. returns to Ostgut Ton with his third full length Eyes In The Center, expanding the musical narrative laid out by his Helium Sessions EP (OSTGUT 096EP, 2016). The Berghain resident keeps exploring the vast modular synth-driven techno, experimental, and ambient territories on a journey in-between genres. Tobias Freund is long established as an influential artist and has - since the early 1990s - been working as a professional producer, sound engineer, label owner, and strictly live musician. Besides his early solo projects (such as Pink Elln, Metazone, or Phobia) he's also been collaborating with Dandy Jack (as Sieg Über Die Sonne), Ricardo Villalobos (as Odd Machine), Max Loderbauer (as NSI.), Valentina Berthelon (as Recent Arts), and Atom TM, to name a few. In their entirety, the 12 songs on Eyes In The Center work as a raw, unpolished collage and evoke the spirit of (post) punk and the more experimental niches of electronic music. Think Chrome, Residents, and Throbbing Gristle - but not Kraftwerk. Or think The Human League, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Der Plan, but think more in terms of musical attitudes and concepts rather than sound aesthetics. Even though Freund still owns the same Roland TR-808 he bought in the mid-1980s, his studio machine park has significantly evolved and got a lot more refined since. With all these machines at hand, Tobias. opted for limiting the gear used during the making of Eyes In The Center to avoid losing himself in possibilities. But it's all there: the slender, multi-layered, hypnotic club-ready techno cuts that dominate his live sets at Berghain and at clubs and festivals around the globe, leftfield jams that dodge clear stylistic classification, and the very atmospheric, intimate, and introverted ambient listening pieces. While Eyes In The Center as a whole can't be pinned down to a certain mood or sound, there is an underlying concept in reference to the idea of autopoiesis, meaning "self" and "creation, production", a system which reproduces and maintains itself. On Eyes In The Center, Tobias. expands his exploration of these ideas that already informed his work with Chilean visual artist Valentina Berthelon on their joint audio-visual project Recent Arts in 2016. Eyes In The Center stands in a long tradition of electronic music, scrutinizing the self while reaching out towards the unknown.