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Rhythm & Sound

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Album Review

After pursuing the minimal techno of their highly lauded Basic Channel output as far as it could go, the mysterious German duo of Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus moved even farther away from dance music, turning their previous dub-reggae influences into the primary building-block of their music. But rather than succeeding in their apparent quest for ultra-obscurity (the pair has never done interviews or offered press photos, nor have the records ever contained anything but the most basic information), the techno community followed them deeper into murky rhythms and grayed-out ambient hiss. This CD compiles most of the 12" releases as Rhythm & Sound. The opener, "No Partial," offers a clear reggae pulse that is the strongest sign of life amid these highly organic movements that more often than not sound like the distant wash of the ocean, or the sound of air vibrating your eardrum in utter silence. Sunken basslines mingle with lightly tapping percussion that moves the music along at the speed of evolution with only the occasional delay effect to remind you of the world out there once you leave the primordial sea. This makes Oswald and Ernestus' material as Basic Channel sound like Hi-NRG in comparison, while their work with vocalist Paul St. Hilaire for their Burial Mix label seems like calypso. Rhythm & Sound barely has either, yet it is still as compelling as anything else the duo have released in their extensive and influential careers.


Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of several anonymous projects linked to the mysterious Berlin dub-techno duo Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, Rhythm & Sound released a series of 10" records on Burial Mix and 12" records on Rhythm & Sound, both labels distributed by Hardwax. Von Oswald and Ernestus' Rhythm & Sound recordings are much more dub-influenced and less techno-orientated than the duo's previous...
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Rhythm & Sound, Rhythm & Sound
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