Various Artists Fabric 42: Âme

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Âme‘s biggest accomplishment on this compilation isn‘t the super-smooth mixing, or the smart, open-minded programming. Instead, it‘s the warmth they give to minimal- and tech-house. The duo, Germans Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann, wring a huge range of emotion out of relatively spare beats and electronics. The female vocalist on Armando’s “Don‘t Take It,” for example, sounds all the more believable for the slight scaffolding under her cautionary monologue. Their own contribution, “D.P.O.M.B.,” has a fuller sound but builds on a buzzing synth that gives the track a certain nervousness. A minimal aesthetic, but far from a minimal impact.