Lowtec LowtecWonderkidd / Looser
NONPLUS (NONPLUS011, 12” + digital)
At first sight, a Lowtec release on Nonplus has the characteristics to raise more than one eyebrow. A luminary of German deep house on one of the flagship labels of the UK hardcore continuum? But when you look at the way Instra:mental have been managing their imprint since its start in 2009, the answer can only be: sure. Since that first single shared with dBridge, Alex Green and Damon Kirkham have shown that their plans for the label go way beyond atavistic bass music. Things like the release of a single by Kassem Mosse last year proved that Nonplus looks to connect the dots between producers and scenes that seem far apart but that actually have a lot in common. Beyond genres and labels, Nonplus stands out as a home for music that looks for emotion via deepness; without fear of constant formal exploration but conserving its visceral intentions, something Lowtec has always been a master in.
The A-side of this single contains “Wonderkidd”, an obsessive deep house track that starts out cautiously with gliding vocal samples, only to burst into a feast of abyssal chords, slightly off-kilter, rim-ridded rhythms and sparkling melodies that sound like frequencies lost in an intergalactic diversion. Concise elements, which, like it couldn’t be any other way, are masterfully combined by Jens Kuhn (his real name) to create a track that invites you to dance. On the flipside is “Looser”, a composition that makes all the adjectives used so far come up short. Where we said “obsessive” before, this is outright psychotic. A seven-minute trip through the lower regions of house, guided by a rhythm more raw than sushi, incredible guttural samples (the term “vocal” just doesn’t cut it), bubbling sounds and obstinate strings that maintain the tension and remind us that the climax is nigh. It comes suddenly and in the form of a mechanical melody, shaped by icy and industrial chords, which remind us of the fact that we’re dealing with a man who cares about digital cleanliness like a baboon cares about being watched during an onanistic feast. So deep, it hurts.
This is a single that, apart from featuring glorious music, helps to understand the evolution of an electronic scene which is more permeable and omnivorous every day, which flees from the inevitable stagnation that comes with the labelling and which looks for new starting points for the sound of the 21st century. One more detail for the connection lovers: Lowtec is the boss of Workshop, the label that discovered Kassem Mosse, the producer who, as mentioned, personified the opening to the German scene of Nonplus in the first place. And so, everything comes together.