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Mathias Schaffh‚user Coincidance

If Cologne‘s techno scene were a public swimming pool, Mathias Schaffhäuser might represent the "deep" end-while he knows how to throw down dark and minimal, he also doesn‘t shy away from melody and emotion. This effect on Schaffhäuser‘s fifth album, Coincidance, can occasionally be overwrought: the sing-song vocals on this year‘s hit, "Truthology," may work on dancefloors but are quickly cloying here. The album is best when kept simple, as with the crunchy tech stomper "Episode 3" or the beautifully subdued "Dear Elliott," featuring acoustic guitar whispers from the late Elliott Smith‘s "Bled White."

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