Robert Dietz Common EP
It's easy to think of Gerd Janson's Running Back as a label by DJs, for DJs. Janson releases the occasional smash hit, but the artists that make up the label's backbone are low-key studious and efficient. B.D.I. Presents Compassion Crew, Raudive, and Disco Nihilist may not often be in the dance music tabloids, but they represent very pure and necessary production styles, making the tracks that paste mixes together. Count Frankfurt's Robert Dietz among their ranks. Common is the producer's second effort for the label, following 2009's Forward Snipping, and if nothing else, it packs some mid-set punch.
The title track leans toward American garage with its brash drums and tubular bassline, and Dietz complements this framework with jangling piano, squealing organ, string pads, and coy synth flourishes. It's hardly revolutionary, but the producer does a fine job of balancing its small, frantic parts. "Nostaljack" is marked by an infectious rolling tabla, and after letting this ride for awhile, Dietz adds rushes of rave stabs and choppy vocal shouts, which supply it with pretty much all the boisterous energy it needs. The thumping "Interrude" lays down a thudding foundation for a looping sample that, while obscured and not quite soaring, does lend some upward, uplifting motion. It's maybe akin to a more polished Anthony "Shake" Shakir track. Before closing out with some bonus beats, "Doul" shows the producer in a different mode entirely; amid soupy, heady ambience, Dietz deploys halted drum patterns and recalls the astral spirit of early-'90s Warp in the process. Like its predecessors, it is a smartly considered composition, if somewhat more primed for home listening than the middle of a rambunctious party.
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