18. Move D – ‘Kunststoff’

Posted: March 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Album Review, Ambient, Ambient Techno | Tags: | No Comments »

Move D - 'Kunststoff'

Move D * Kunststoff * 1995 * Source Records

Germany is one of the original seedbeds of popular electronic music, having hatched Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Giorgio Moroder in the ’70s. By the ’90s, cities like Frankfurt were pioneering trance music, where Sven Vath headlined the infamous Dorian Gray nightclub and once reputedly played a nonstop 24-hour DJ set. In Berlin, Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus virtually invented “dub techno” as Basic Channel, a trippy fusion of subsonic bass, echoing percussion and hypnotic minimalism.

But of all these breakout artists and scenes, David Moufang as Move D, a classically trained musician and jazz guitarist from Heidelberg, would write Germany’s consummate techno album of the ’90s. His mellifluous style was soothing but astonishing in its melodic insights and rhythmic turns. He drew heavily from jazz and house music, mixing his ambient techno into an aural absinthe. With a sixth sense for synthesizers’ ability to stretch one’s sense of space and time, Moufang casually opened the mind to the intimate places between notes and beats. Kunststoff, which means “plastic” in German, shaped those places into previously unimagined thoughts and feelings.

Case in point, the sensual ‘In/Out’ heaves and sighs into a heightened delirium, its deep-rocking beats collapsing the distance between two somas, the Greek “soma” for body and the Sanskritsoma” of Vedic legend, the intoxicating drink of immortality. Higher and higher it goes until in-and-out and up-and-down flip into something beyond words.

Starter ‘Eastman’ sounds like Derrick May‘s Detroit techno classic ‘It Is What It Is’ wafting over the Atlantic to the warm Riviera. It’s a slow-mo smear of sunset modulations. ‘Sandmann’ struts to a bouncy machine-room groove while ‘Hood’ crawls inside rubber-band tones. The gentle, dreamy melodies of ‘’77 Sunset Trip’ linger in America’s industrial zone discos  — the soul moving under a hot New York summer night or the deep house musings of Chicago’s Mr. Fingers. Chilling out, Moufang coasts into the lucid dreaming of ‘Beyond the Machine’ and the Mideastern drift of ‘Xing the Jordan.’

But it’s ‘Amazing Discoveries’ that still marks Moufang as one of the great audio visionaries of his time. Like a double helix it coils its synth lines up into a magic cloud of sonic reflections. It’s like looking up at the sun from the bottom of the sea and awakening from slumber to daydream splendor.

At times quiet and quick, Kunststoff is no casual album though it’s easy-as-she-goes vibe runs deep. But unlike Moufang’s cosmic musings as Deep Space Network with Jonas Grossmann, Move D side-winds to a sexier, earthier beat.

Skipping and slinking, it’s “intelligent” dance music for connoisseurs who realize Afro-Germanic is as intellectual as it gets.

1. Eastman
2. Soap Bubbles
3. Sandmann
4. In/Out (initial mix)
5. Hood
6. Tribute to Mr. Fingers
7. 77 Sunset Strip
8. Beyond the Machine
9. Nimm 2
10. Amazing Discoveries
11. Trist
12. Xing the Jordan / Seven

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