T. Raumschmiere looks like a dirty trucker crossed with a punk rocker crossed with a crankhead you might see hanging out at an interstate rest stop in the middle of a long stretch of interstate. All of the above may or may not be true, but some things I know about him is that his real name is Marco Haas, he is German, and he's ready to bring a bit of the rock back to electronic music. If the words are to be believed, he had to be slightly restrained from smashing all his equipment and himself at his CMJ performance earlier this year. What I know for sure is that he has released music on Kompakt, Hefty, and his own Shitkatapult Records, and he shows no signs of slowing down right now.
Jumping genres like crazy, his last work under the alias of T. Raumschmiere was actually much more controlled and sterile. Last year's Anti might have well been short for antiseptic with it's cold and precision programming, and Radio Blackout is much closer to his Great Rock N' Rock Swindle EP that came out just about a year ago as well on his own label. For the most part, this 11 track effort is about putting some more krunk in the trunk and getting your ass on the floor with grimy basslines and juicy beats.
"I'm Not Dead, I'm Ignoring You" opens the release, and whips out some trademark growling bass while flipping little squelches of spiralling noise in around a kicking 4/4 beat. It's all over in just over 2 minutes, and then the release is on to the chugging "Monstertruckdriver," another three and a half minute slab of dancefloor rockin fun that is again content to layer a thick bassline over a relentlessly pounding beat as shards of discarded melody flake off in the wake. "Someday" slows things down a bit before Miss Kittin adds some vocals on the electro-clash tinged "The Game Is Not Over." Just in case you don't get the point, she drives home the ending of each verse with "rock n' roll!"
Haas isn't above being subtle, though, as he proves with several tracks on the release. "Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Strom" still has some seriously grunky basslines, but swirls in a slightly warm melody that gives the track a little bit more humanity than something like the almost ludicrously over-the-top "Rebaukendisko." The album-titled "Radio Blackout" even goes in a completely different direction, dropping off into nebulous clouds of soft noise that recall work by Wolfgang Voigt as Gas. So, while he sometimes lets the resonance and bit reduction filters get the best of him (as on the closer of "MuSick Boy"), there's very clearly more up his sleeve than he often lets onto. Even though it's swinging for the cheap seats most of the time and not really offering much of anything new, Radio Blackout is at the very least fun, which it seems that some artists forget about once in awhile.