Berlin-based AVA Records main chap Damiano von Erckert makes a stunning return to Will Saul’s Aus Music, with a 10-track collection of mixed grooves, a truly excellent showcase of his studio talents, named The Past / The Future. And it seems as if DvE was more than ready to spread some urban melancholy with his third long player, after two EPs on the label, namely PETE and Replica Material, and a remix for Cinthie.
Let’s begin this none-chronologically structured review with the spacey, soundscape tracks, which appear several times through the release. There is the spoken word philosophy of Willkommen – the German word for welcome – which gives a background to the ethos of House, Techno and Rave, over a joyous, beat-less, bass and pads background, both emotive and uplifting. Komposition 1 is a gorgeous piano-led cut, laid-back yet powerful, with a buzzy bassline sitting beneath the pads and keys, a wonderfully reflective piece of electronic music. Also the listeners are treated to Komposition 2, an almost pizzicato-style synth pluck, weaving its way through layered pads and a low, set-back sub bass. Another beautifully mood-setting slice of deepness.
There are also straight-up club vibes, namely the hugely powerful and uplifting Think Different, the funk-infused deepness of Damiano’s remix of Retrogott Like This, the brilliant percussive and floating Rave#6 and the skippy drums, deep chords and bass combination on the excellent Sorry Mate, Do You Have A Rizla?, all of which are dancefloor-aimed, but show a deepness within the grooves.
Finally, Damiano also includes some tougher Detroit-influenced sounds, via the pulsating and quick-paced Frankfurt 1997, a glorious deeper acid-bass workout on Rave#10, plus a real end-of-night club cut, namely XTC Spirits Evolving To Higher Spheres, which blends deepness with a sense of euphoria, the keys and delayed vocals running alongside a backbone of echo drums and warm synths, a track to really make the hairs on the back of your neck reach right out.
This is an absolutely excellent collection of sounds – whether you’re a dancer, a DJ looking for a varied selection for sets, or a listener interested in electronic music and wanting to learn some of the different nuances there are between styles; whatever your reason for indulging in this album, one will come away from listening to it feeling a sense of warmth and heightened senses, that’s a guarantee as The Past The Future perfectly does what the title suggests: it brings together DvE’s spaced-out sounds with electronic music’s past without being out of touch with the real (club) world. Chapeau!
Damiano von Erckert’s The Past / The Future LP is out now via AUS Music.
Words by Al Bradley