For their 18th release, Berlin-based underground electronic music label, Lossless ushers Jas Miszewski & Alexander Inggs into the limelight with a hard-hitting four-tracker with a riveting vocal at its core. For those paying attention, Lossless did indeed skip LL1218 for this one. Signing on a humble yet highly credible and widely-supported label, by artists and aficionados alike, the Cape Town based duo had big shoes to fill – not just an hour but enough momentum for Lossless to hang tight and eventually make up for, apologies for the pun, not quite ‘lost’ time, but simply just ‘passed’ time. But all in all, less than half an hour in duration, set off by the Lossless label bosses Mathias Schober/Thomas Herb tandem better known as SBTH’s gumption, LL1219 fit the bill, unpretentiously unraveling the complex yet well-balanced elements that make Atelier ‘Atelier,’ ultimately punching in as a debut which marks a promising beginning for the newcomers, as well as an EP Lossless can and should be proud about.
Before Atelier unveils the original version of their production, ‘Something To Fill An Hour EP’ serenades listeners with a deeper than usual intercourse of melancholia and melody, dabbed with a comforting gesture of something more familiar than not. A1 cannot get any more Lossless than having the TLC and time (and time again)-tested handling by electronic music mavens, Mathias Schober and Thomas Herb. The intensity of Atelier’s vocals and the uncanny reverb may be a little too risque for the first track in this day, age and volatility, but SBTH knew that. By stroking tension, manipulating rhythm and applying well-calculated cuts, Schober and Herb add the perfect dose of ruggedness to transgress an emotion-driven track into a dance-floor friendly but yet still emotion-driven, masterpiece.
Berlin-based, widely sought after DJ/Producer Annegret Fiedler has made her moniker, Perel synonymous to hair-slinging, adrenaline pumping good time. Her infectious, hipsway-inducing, 80’s-fueled signature sound has worked wonders in clubs, raves and festivals worldwide, and often too, on the other hand, this style of rehandling can cross the line. During the first few seconds of the 6:39 track, it seems like Perel would take it easy this time around, but shortly, she injects that convincing bassline, extracting Jas’ vocals so rhythmically and mesmerizing we start to remember what, why, how and when was the 80’s. ‘Something to Fill An Hour’ holds no emotions back, but in this particular rendition, emotions take back seat, by the time we feel, Perel has closed up with a sophisticated finish, and the ‘meaning and the purpose of dancing, is the dance’ (Alan Watts) – a way not to fill just the hour, but actually feel alive perhaps.
Atelier’s original version of ‘Something To Fill An Hour,’ coming on third, follows two beautifully crafted and equally expressive renditions propelled by musical elements that fill the hour, components that make dance euphoric, a certain way of manipulating music to remove the past and future, and pin down the present. However, at the beginning of the 5:57 original, stripped of bass, cuts, panhandling of rhythm, interruption of melody, is where Atelier drives listener to feel the hour. Well-dispensed and dense vocals, cushioned by analog synths, leveled by fluid waves of percussion and reverb, careens listeners not just with the song but within it.
Altogether Atelier’s first introduction to the electronic scene could not have begun any better. Surrounded by talented, renowned and eclectic artists plus releasing on an in-demand label the future for the South African duo and their emotional driven music not only looks bright but surely will gain the recognition it deserves.
Review by Marie J. Floro