Objekt, Flatland

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 10.31.14 in Reviews

The alluring dance music created by Objekt fulfills its function as techno while minding the quirks and divergences of experimentalism too. No release on the adventurous Berlin-based label PAN ever stints on the latter, and Objekt’s full-length debut does not buck the trend. It does, however, find uniquely fertile ground in the middle, with a sound that can bump the club or bend the brain — or, better yet and often enough, both.

Techno at its most functional and formalistic

After a portentous ambient intro that goes nowhere, “One Fell Swoop” introduces Objekt’s habit for racing in many different directions at once. His sound is techno at its most functional and formalistic, in a certain sense. Close in, in any given moment in isolation, the wont for grid-like order is apparent and clear. But then, from a distance, the maps of Objekt’s tracks reveal all sorts of craggy edges and weird, winding paths. “Ratchet” rushes forward in a tight, tidy fashion while also fitting in all sorts of rhythmic squiggles and fidgets, a la Aphex Twin. “Interlude (Whodunit?)” suggests what might have happened if the Muppets ever made techno, and “Second Witness” and “One Stitch Follows Another” find new and unusual crinkles in the familiars of so-called dub techno, with their shared slow and bulbous lean.

It bodes well for Objekt’s future that he is proficient and distinct at different speeds, with the capacity for more than just dance-floor fillers at his disposal. He’s good with those, too, though — and once filled, the floor can get to moving in whichever ways he might yet have in mind.