Album Review: Eternal Basement / ‘Zustandsgeber’ (Harthouse Mannheim)


An album with a beginning, middle and an end, Harthouse linchpin Eternal Basement represents a beneath the surface gateway to watery tangents in deep techno, Michael Kohlbecker discovering more the further down he ducks under. Harboring both an ambience and anxiety, you can be minding your own business until a sudden tug throws you off center. Very much schooled in how one echoey chord on repeat speaks a thousand words, the Basement is all about form, function and discipline rather than the provision of an emotional outlet. In spite of the warm fronts that pass by, there’s usually a cold snap telling it to move on.

“Taking Place in You” is where the deep end swallows the weak, made possible by beautiful angel-summoning chords observing tech-house going on a manhunt – think Jam & Spoon meeting Armand van Helden on his UK garage grind. The album beefing itself up with the pretty unsociable “Vollmond” and irritable “Mindcontrol” looping into a clench, finishes with the heaven-scented “Sentio”, which though rather unashamedly Chicane-inspired in performance, is a welcome lift from a heavy going midsection. While its character suffers because of its undeniable organisztion, there’s some good stuff fighting to break free from the inflexible.
File under: Sven Väth, Fünf D, Saafi Brothers