A new volume in the “Berghain” series is about to be released, which is one of the best ways to take the pulse of today’s techno scene, in my opinion. If you like it dark, tense and founded on the classic German sound, there is nothing better. On this “Berghain 04” it’s Ben Klock’s turn to put the needle on the record – taking over from Len Faki, who raised the bar pretty high – and as usual, the Berlin imprint Ostgut Ton is releasing the especially commissioned works on two 12” vinyl as well. There’s quite a bit of marketing at work here, what with building the label’s image and encouraging the true fan to buy both vinyl editions and the CD, but at the same time I have always liked the idea of recording DJ sets as a way to show new music rather than a vehicle for the DJ or a venue/label pushing its products. My point is that what’s happening here is that Berghain are showing us their sound, their incorruptible vision of techno, and Ben Klock is proving his good taste, skill and broad selection skills, and at the unreleased tracks are of high quality. The first volume, already on sale, includes a bumpy track by Roman Lindau which connects well with the tribal techno school – from Ben Sims to DJ Cave, to give you an idea – put through a minimal filter, and “Miniluv” by Dutchman Martyn, an interesting fusion of deep Detroit techno with the broken percussion of UK funky. The second single, to be released on 28th June, is a lot more purist: it includes a new tune by James Ruskin – fusing the furious rigidity of the Birmingham sound with the liquidity of Basic Channel’s techno-dub – and a great contribution by Kevin Gorman with “7am Stepper”, which, somewhere between complicated ambient and slow techno, is a perfect mix of early Luke Slater (or Vapourspace) with Shackleton’s rhythms. More wood to keep this fire burning.