OCH First Contact EP

Berlin's Dreiklang label makes its debut via a trio of multifaceted mixes.
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Following a triangular approach, Dreiklang’s inaugural EP connects three artists from across Europe with a penchant for nuanced productions. The release comes together as a multifaceted grouping of practical tracks that cycle through a wide range of energy levels.

OCH’s original version starts off the affair. Straying from conventional four-to-the-floor norms, the former Juno Records gear journalist sequences shuffling rhythms that restlessly oscillate between house and techno archetypes. With its gritty textures and dizzying flow, this DJ tool is better suited for staggering dancefloor moments than it is for home listening; reflective of the Autoreply Music head’s structural incisiveness, a linear approach to arrangement is maintained throughout the track, making it accessible from a mixing perspective.

Taking things on a dubbier tangent, Hydergine extracts the original’s keys, pads, and percussion as a framework for his more tempered and atmospheric rendition, with his slow-paced approach serving as an antidote to the dizzying nature of the original. Adhering to a typical dub-techno template, acute layering and reverb-soaked harmonics give this restrained remix a warm and familiar tone. Unfortunately, this formulaic familiarity comes at the expense of the ingenuity that’s more present throughout the rest of the release.

Branching off the most from the original, Kelovolt’s remix focuses on subtle repetition, using dream-like tones to lure listeners into a corner of contemplative sanctum. Its sparse snippets of background artifacts are inspirited by haunting melodies that gently float over its subdued groove. We’re transported into a solemn plane of minimal soundscapes that pulsate daintily for just over ten minutes. While it might not be quite as sonically full as the others, it’s definitely the most illustrious piece of the three.

The result a varied yet cohesive package tied together by astute arrangements; a wise step for a new club-focused label. With that in mind, the overall quality and range of this release is certainly a promising first step for the Berlin vinyl-only imprint.