TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

Altstadt Echo - This Work Contains Lead
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Extending his celebrated Modern Cathedrals parties from Detroit to Berlin last year has surely given the emerging profile of Altstadt Echo a nice bump, but it's his music (and label of the same name) that will surely benefit most here. For four years Mr Echo (real name unknown) has been diligently building and releasing a solid back catalogue of EPs and, coinciding with a move to the European capital of electronic music, it's fitting that this emerging talent now finds himself releasing a debut LP (on Spanish label Semantica).

This Work Contains Lead is perfectly formed headphone Techno; a conceptual album that works, i.e. you can choose to ignore the intellectual ideas contained within the nine tracks and just enjoy the music, which remains a powerful proposition in itself. Continuing to channel ideas first examined in his early EPs, specifically the conflicting signals of religious art and architecture (he calls the scattered shells of empty manufacturing facilities in Detroit today's modern cathedrals), offset with the creeping disillusionment of a pious upbringing, the young American producer cleverly manipulates the idea behind this universal evolution into his work, attaching deeper meaning through provocative track titles.

Shunning cliches, this isn't blatant Techno by numbers (no "intro" or "outro" tracks, yay!). Instead, we find a wide range of rhythms and dark moods that envelop Dub and Ambient motifs. And using a single, 16th-century choral a capella recording, he embellishes the concept further, with stark contrast between the original sound source and resulting creation. The best part though is that it's a truly melodic Techno album.

  • Rating: 9/10
  • Listens: 19
  • Highlight: Watch a Moth Drink Tears
  • Label: Semantica
  • Release Date: 24th May 2019
Altstadt Echo - This Work Contains Lead

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