Germany’s Martin Gretschmann, aka Acid Pauli, might be best known for his club-geared techno, but he’s always been experimental. Releases for Disko B, Nicolás Jaar’s Clown And Sunset and his own Ouïe label are filled with fascinating details and unexpected about-turns – something developed further on ‘MOD’. This latest album finds Gretschmann creating almost entirely with modular synthesis, an experience that has helped him discover “completely new worlds” in the intricate machinery.
Stepping away from the dancefloor, the tracks on ‘MOD’ are meditative drifts through dub-dipped soundscapes, reminiscent in places of another studio specialist, Pole. There’s always a danger that modular synth records can lack emotion, ending up as pure exhibitions of technique and sound sculpting. ‘MOD’, though, tugs on the heartstrings. The emotive bleeps and bass of ‘Sublime Frequencies Of Cairo’ could rival the work of any IDM guru, and ‘Peace Waer Schoen’ sounds like a hidden Arthur Russell gem. Wonderful.