The Inertials


Cristian Vogel's fourteenth album is already a classic. Every track is subtly shaped and full of nuances, without drifting into gimmickry. Every sound is efficient and precise. With The Inertials, Vogel nonchalantly provides the soundtrack for an industrial wasteland. This is club music beyond any genre which, while bearing the spirit of industrial techno, is way above the rave-dogma which dominated industrial techno during the '90s. The dark side of high-end production, as you may call it. In the late '80s in the UK, Cristian Vogel with the Cabbage Head Collective, became engaged in the production of electronic music. He completed his studies of 20th century music at the University of Sussex. In the mid-'90s he began to deliver blueprints for minimal and wonky techno. His first album, Beginning To Understand, was released on Mille Plateaux in 1994, and the following 12 albums were released on labels such as Tresor and Novamute. In collaboration with Jamie Lidell, he founded Super_Collider years before Lidell gained recognition as a solo artist. At the same time, he provided work as a composer of contemporary dance and film music. Vogel did remixes for the likes of Radiohead, Maxïmo Park, Chicks On Speed and Thom Yorke. As a programmer and theorist in the field of digital sound research, he is just as much at home as he is as a composer and songwriter. With a great sense of distinct melody and harmony, Vogel as a producer roughs up the digital surfaces. This is how he adds depth and body to his music, which is something a lot of techno-related productions are lacking. Digital clarity has patina and at the same time sounds hazy. At a predominantly moderate tempo, Vogel cleverly combines creaky sounds with swinging rhythms. With a knowledge of dubstep, but unimpressed by the short-lived micro-trends of club music, he has assembled the newest standards of digital production on The Inertials. The lively "Seed Dogs" with its unexpected tempo changes; the surprising "Lucky Connor" with its marvellously complex rhythm; the hypnotic, incredibly groovy "Snakes In The Grass," appearing like a confident nod towards minimal techno; the mysterious "Deepwater," creating suspense from the very first moment, like a John Carpenter soundtrack. The list could be continued indefinitely. Every track is timeless and rests within itself. "Today's Standard Form" is a synthesizer arpeggio fantasy with no beats at all, a prelude for the midi piano, if you like. And with "Dreams Of Apolonia," dub for the first time is not just insinuated, but actually emerging in its own right.