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Stephan Bodzin - Liebe Ist
Stephan Bodzin is, for many, last year’s unsung hero, one producer who single-handedly shaped the overall sonic landscape of recent memory with relentless release schedules and numerous collaborations (with Marc Romboy, Oliver Huntemann, and Thomas Schumacher, allegedly sharing studio space, time, and successful trickeries) or aliases (Elektrochemie, Rekorder, Swoop). Over-productivity or not, though, it’d be hard to deny the fact that Bodzin circa 2006, with expressive cuts such as ‘Pendulum’, ‘Tron’, or the still amazing ‘Phobos’, tapped with great mastery into a breach opened a while back by James Holden where basslines tremble on a subatomic level and beat patterns somehow keep coherently disorganized. ‘Liebe Ist’ is Bodzin’s first official array in the long player format, and even though he could seem more at ease with individual, one-off 12 inches to some, there is a sense of commanding perfectionism at work emanating from this overall distinctive album.

Bodzin’s craft, on here but also on previous productions, lies in his abilities to be technically mechanical yet emotionally evocative. But this very emotionalism is about that so-called darker side of the moon and those repressed, unreleased tensions, albeit always vague and abstract: album closer ‘Vendetta’ and previous single ‘Kerosene’, for example, both feel like aural equivalent of the Freudian death drive, hovering basslines and going-nowhere fractured beats announcing some unarticulated, brooding menace. Otherwise, most cuts stay circular all around, beating around the same sonic bushes, and when they momentarily peak (current single ‘Liebe Ist…’ or the perkier ‘Turbine’ come to mind in terms of climaxes), they are not bringing any real sense of release nor relief. Bodzin’s poetics are all about manic repetition of the same skewed spacey sounds, about dancing with your feet glued to the ground, yet you can’t help but to feel right at home, comforted and elated.

---text by RA---
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26.04.2007  (RA)