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Mask Talk

KK 052CD KK 052CD

This is the debut full-length release by Düsseldorf's Detlef Weinrich aka Tolouse Low Trax. Mask Talk a distillation of the sounds of the night, possessing a musical intensity that bodes well for a different kind of dancefloor. Cool, atmospheric new wave sharpness, and a cushioned beat rate between 107 and 116 bpm call out a mechanical functionality that doesn't bow to any contemporary doctrine. This is urban music, and a true club album, harkening big city lights in Africa with chilly neon sounds from Düsseldorf. As a member of Kreidler, Weinrich has contributed to a group's cosmic vibes. Now, with his solo project, he demonstrates that an MPC and a small synthesizer ensemble are enough to bring alive futuristic dance music in the here and now. Bedroom-recorded under tense creative circumstances, the 10 tracks invoke, mostly instrumentally, an eerie atmosphere that would fit in perfectly with an early John Carpenter movie. With plenty delay on the bass figures, compact analog effects, percussive dabs and a rough blend of layers, Weinrich has, without any digital support, created quivering drum machine music, whose danceability he was able to test regularly as a resident DJ and co-owner of a Düsseldorf club/ bar. These tracks breathe the hypnotic power of his DJ sets, where he arranges diverse rhythms between Krautrock, cosmic, electronic and acid. They are also reminiscent of analog-electronic pioneers such as Cluster or Peter Baumann. Also, 1980s avant-gardists Cabaret Voltaire and Zazou Bikaye have left their mark, without Tolouse Low Trax explicitly referring to them. Mask Talk is a dark, urban solanum, full of reverb, whose melodies are never prankish, but whose minimal nonchalance is sure to help not only the dark creatures through the night. "Form is essence brought to the surface," Victor Hugo wrote 150 years ago. Mask Talk reasserts this theory as a distillate of an operating procedure seeking to subvert ingrained listening habits and to resharpen the contours of the audible.