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28 April 2010

Thomas Brinkmann - 'Olga/Petra' (Ernst)

There have been times when getting through 36 tracks of minimal techno seemed like an impossible task, but I'm proud to say I made it. There were ups and downs - maybe even a consistent wave of ups and downs - but at the end of 'Petra', my final entry in the female names series, I felt relief and satisfaction. It helps that this is one of the strongest entries in the series, with 'Olga' particularly probably most successfully realising the idea of "minimal techno". The two tracks here are incredibly stark, unadorned bass drum thuds with little/no variation. It's not a rich psychedelic tapestry, but it's a perfectly acceptable attempt at extreme aesthetics. 'Petra' picks up the pace a bit, with the first track falling into a 1-2 rah-rah techno beat, though again Brinkmann holds back and the piece is marvelously monotonous. Part of me almost wants to hunt down Q-Z because I *hate* incomplete collections, but, they day I bought these, that's all that was available. Possibly, that's all that had been released at the time. I always assumed a DJ died that week and his mom sold his records. My partial collection is not worth holding onto though, so, offers welcome in the comments thread. I have a friend who tries to follow a "format rule" as strictly as possible - if he started buying, say, Dead C albums on CD, then he must always try to get the other Dead C albums on CD, not vinyl. I think he maybe has even passed up some gems because it would break the rule, though given the infrequency of dual-format releases these days (particularly with smaller labels and a more marginal market for physical media) this is probably near impossible. He might be reading this now, in which I say "hi".

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