Clear back in the year 1993 or so, I picked up a cassette tape (!) compilation from a club in Germany called Tresor. At the time, it seemed like sort of an underground deal, but the music that they were releasing was some seriously pumping stuff. It turns out that Tresor not only kept on pumping out the stuff clear through the 90s, but into the new millenium as well with this, their 110th release. Although I'd never heard anything by Cristian Vogel before, I had heard a bunch of releases on the label and they all had some of the same things in common. Many of the releases were minimal, bangin' techno, and I figured that if Vogel had anything in common with them, I'd be grooving on it.
As it turns out, he does have things in common with the artists I'd heard, as well as incorporating some other strange elements that make this release unique, but still quite able to lay waste to a dancefloor for the first half at least. While many of the tracks have a pretty much straight techno feel, Vogel also manages to pull in some different styles, like a more aggressive batch of weird squiggles that Mike Ink and Jorg Burger feel so at home with. There's a definite German feel, but it slams a lot harder than The Modernist and rattles Pole out of his dubby underground.
The first track "General Apperientase" lurches along at first with some strange machine malfunctioning sounds (a theme that sort of runs throughout the entire release), but soon locks into sort of a gurgling beat before the metallic sounds threaten to override it at several points. Eventually, a huge pulse of thick bass slimes over everything, giving the track sort of a glitch-filled, bastardized speed garage feel. On the second track "Sarcastically Tempered Powers," things click along a little bit more straightforwardly, but Vogel still manages to throw in a bunch of odd sounds and clanging without making anything feel like it's fighting the other for attention.
If there's any track that falls a bit more into a standard feel, it's the longest track on the album "Shoe Renounce Soul." Clocking in at about 8 and a half minutes, the twisted, grinding track has sort of a house feel that simply makes it seem a little more pedestrian than the other tracks on the release. It's also about this time that the album goes a bit different route. "Nelson Park Beach" drops the thumping beat alltogether nad opts for all kinds of squirrely blurps with a very simple, subdued beat while "Menthol Pencil" feels like a bit of shuffling, off kilter electro that could have come off a Two Lone Swordsmen album. Although he works a beat on several of the tracks on the last half of the album, he never really settles into things like he did on the first half (unless you count the absolutely slamming album closer "Wider Cracks," but even it shifts in and out of beat mode every 30 seconds or so). Overall, the album has a super-rich sound (including several tracks with super-thick low end), and it's one that winds you up with thumping beats, then settles down for awhile before slamming the lid on things at the end.