If you were lucky enough to catch a live Wighnomy Brothers set before their split in 2009, then you know that Monkey Maffia and Robag Wruhme were often deservedly called the best techno DJs in the world, spinning all-vinyl marathon sets on four turntables fueled by copious amounts of bass-heavy, soulful techno (and even more copious amounts of alcohol). On Thora Vukk, his second full-length, Robag Wruhme (a.k.a. Gabor Schablitzki) shows that while his techno chops are still intact, his penchant for atmospherics and found sounds has increased dramatically since his last album, 2004's Wuzzelbud "KK."
Part of the sonic change on Thora Vukk is undeniably structural; rather than cobbling together techno bangers, the record uses short bridge tracks to connect the longer, more raging pieces. For example, the complex rhythms and shimmering intensity of the title track are followed by a very live-feeling, meditative piece on a Rhodes piano, replete with bird sounds, button clicks, and Schablitzki's breathing in the background. The record then continues onto the crunchy minimal tech of "Bommsen Böff."
Perhaps what is most endearing about Schablitzki's latest outing, though, is how the gentle vibes of the bridge tracks seep into the more club-friendly pieces. "Prognosen Bomm," for one, is a synthesis of dishes clanking together, deep kicks, lush synth patterns, and high-frequency strings. And the final track features a fragile choir of human voices, gorgeous Rhodes keys, occasional kicks, and spontaneous human chatter. Thora Vukk couldn't end on a more appropriate, uplifting note—this is one of the most human, most beautiful electronic records of recent memory.