Switched On – Marcel Dettmann: Fear of Programming (Dekmantel)

by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Fear of Programming sounds like a frank confessional – and certainly isn’t an affliction you would wish on an electronic musician!

Yet for Marcel Dettmann, the Berlin techno veteran, his first album in ten years has been assembled with what seems like the minimum of fuss.

What’s the music like?

After a floated introduction, Dettmann wastes no time in getting down to business. Suffice To Predict is spacey, and contrasts nicely with the volleys of percussion and displaced harmonies unleashed by Renewal Theory.

Dettmann sees little reason to change his previous winning formula, and it is a good decision given the conviction with which he goes about his writing. With its bumpy beat and booming vocals from Ryan Elliott, Water is an excellent track, while the brooding square waves of Reverse Dreams are also excellent, complemented by the percussion-heavy x12.

Much of the writing has a minimal approach which works really well, especially the bubbling (Batteries Not Included). Dettmann’s music for the head is good too – witness the swirly textures of Picture 2020, which work especially well on headphones.

Does it all work?

It does – Dettmann gets the right balance between getting the feet to move and getting the head to explore.

Is it recommended?

It certainly is. Great to have him back!



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