His first release for the label in more than two years, EYE / TREE sees Kompakt staple THOMAS FEHLMANN return to the floor after his mesmerizing detours TITAN ONE (Kompakt 224) and GUTE LUFT (Kompakt 211 / CD 81). Merging the textural dexterity of the former with the narrative scope of the latter, these new solo tracks from THE ORB’s premier fuss-pot put his fine-grained trademark sound back on its feet and reintroduce the Swiss-born producer to club culture’s sweaty habitat. Neo-tribal thriller ride EYE kicks things off swiftly, with variform percussion intercepted by frowningly swelling pads, seriously stirring up the track’s seemingly linear structure in the process. A truly headspinning experience, the cut’s trajectory reveals a staggering level of detail consummately serving its dense atmosphere, but never getting in the way of the forward propulsion. Like a heat-tracing laser beam scanning the surroundings for a stubborn escapee, the track hunts down its own loose rhythmic ends and throws them back to the hearth around which it has gathered to speak in tongues and implore the savage gods of the dance. Fehlmann continues his excursions in high-definition percussion ranting with TREE, an equally polynomial beast of a track that starts off with a stumbling downbeat feel, but soon finds its rousing groove, employing it to deadly effect in the course of its 9-minutes-plus running time. Already a stone-cold classic in all 569 alternate universes, this one knows a thing or two about how to lure its listeners into a false sense of security, only to hit them over their synapses with the slinkiest hi-hat on this side of the credibility gap. While both tracks’ names allude to natural phenomena, the producer clearly toys around with reality’s parameter settings, triggering that classic Fehlmann paradox where you never really know if you’re just listening to a bunch of crickets or the perfect mimicry of an invading paranormal force.
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