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Icke Wieder

Paul Kalkbrenner

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Album Review

After starring in, co-writing, and scoring 2008 tragicomedy Berlin Calling, German DJ Paul Kalkbrenner takes things a little easier with his back to basics follow-up Icke Wieder, which eschews the vocal-led tracks and club-oriented sounds of its predecessor for a simpler, more minimal direction better suited to winding down a back-to-my-house party than soundtracking a hedonistic night out. The first release through his own label occasionally threatens to burst into something a little more pulsating, as with the flashes of dirty techno on the jazz-tinged closer "Der Breuzen" and the warped basslines, snaky rhythms, and industrial electro of "Schnakeln," but the majority of its ten tracks certainly adhere to the less is more approach. While the likes of "Des Stabes Reuse" and "Schmokelung" are little more than a tedious loop of incessant marching rhythms and acid-house beats, Kalkbrenner's ice-cold musical backdrops are sometimes more hypnotically engaging, as on the slow-burning but eventually brain-lodging guitar hooks of opener "Boxig Leise," the intriguing fusion of Celtic violins and oompah-band horns on "Kleines Bubu," and the regular evocation of his hometown's famous S-Bahn system, and the shuffling drums of "Kluppzeug," the chugging basslines of "Jestrupp," and the Chemical Brothers' "Star Guitar"-esque vibes of "Gutes Nitzwerk." Icke Wieder is sometimes a little too minimal to make any kind of notable impression, but as an antidote to the four-to-the-floor antics of his superstar DJ contemporaries, it's an accomplished record which proves that techno and subtlety aren't mutually exclusive. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Paul Kalkbrenner is a DJ, musician and producer who became one of the leading lights on the German electronic music scene. Kalkbrenner was born in Leipzig in Eastern Germany in 1977, and began studying the trumpet when he was eight. In 1989, as the Berlin Wall came down and East and West Germany were reunified, the East eagerly embraced new freedoms, and the electronic music scene was an unexpected beneficiary as the people set out to express themselves and embrace the high-spirited nature of the...
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Icke Wieder, Paul Kalkbrenner
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