Roman Flügel: All The Right Noises (CD, Dial, October 2016)

Being someone who’s keen on a spot of the old repetitive beats, but doesn’t get much, I’ve mused much (and written here probably rather too often) on the curious creature that is the techno album. To make a very crude generalization, there seem to be two popular approaches: pick one sound that works for you and hope that people like it enough to stick with it for an hour or so; or cover a range of styles and hope that they cohere well enough to work across the long format. I often find the latter type hard to love. It is into this category that veteran producer Roman Flügel’s latest falls, covering ground from melodic synth music to swampy acid to spacy piano electronica to krautrock to ambient techno to blippy minimal to anthemic tech house. And, indeed, I wouldn’t say that I love this. But there’s a lot of good stuff on here, and it has a happy knack in its timing, where whenever I feel my attention wandering there’s another lovely moment to pull me back in. I like the touch of Selected Ambient Works 89–92 about Nameless Lake, and of wobbly feel-good Gui Boratto about Planet Zorg. But this album is at its best when it’s bringing these familiar elements together in surprising combinations, and I think the one track that really knocks it out of the park for me is Dust, which combines a sort of fluid blippy Ellen Allien-esque line (I don’t think it’s just the title which makes me think of her) with a big stately chord progression that sounds a bit like Trans-Europe Express. Would I prefer to listen to a whole album in that vein? I honestly don’t know. Still, All The Right Noises does come close to doing what it says on the tin, and is definitely worth a listen.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Techno / House.

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