Thursday, 8 September 2011

Peter Kersten Appreciation

The previous post on Lawrence's Timeless was not intended as a criticism of the work itself or of his mixing and selection, both of which were rather good, but of the medium itself. Mix CDs are dead, time to shovel on the dirt, Timeless it 'aint.

The twelve inch vinyl record however lives on, and stronger than it's been in a long while. Since wifey and I have started our exclusive listening practice I've been buying more of it, and am especially keen on the archival mystery and bargains to be had in secondhand shops. Beyond the classical dregs you can occasionally find cheapish house and techno nowadays, a sure sign that it's grown old and crusty. Nothing looks worse than old dated house and techno records (aside from progressive house and trance ones, and Nana Mouskouri), but the good stuff still looks good, and its interesting what has aged gracefully (and what hasn't).

Peter Kersten's Sten alias offered a harder, more Detroit angled techno version of the Lawrence sound, more bleeps and less chimes and crackle, but retains the same downbeat gloom. I reviewed his Essence LP for RA some moons ago and was largely unimpressed, but I've found a couple of 12"s for $5 or less and they're great. A slightly dated mnml structure but the drums are far from. 'Sponk' is quite agressive, with gruff Auftrieb-esque pulses along with the typical sinuous linearity:

Also picked up Restless/Frost:

His best track however is 'Faces' from 2004's badly titled and patchy Sender comp, Receiving Data... Ah It's Coming!, a dark pseudo acid Detroit stomper:

I thought that was it for Sten, but he returns on the forthcoming Laid release Never As Always with two dubs of Lawrence's 'Rise', a staple of recent Carsten Jost sets.

But Lawrence has really been pumping out the quality of late, for Smallville, Laid, Dial and Mule Electronic, my pick of which is 'Treacle Mine' from Dial's 2010, with that staggered cascading thirds offbeat thing going:

Lawrence tracks, and indeed much of the Hamburg bunch, epitomise the kind of subdued, downbeat and cosy deep house I love right now, a kind of comforting sound, almost ambient, files nicely alongside Terre.

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