An eclectic blend of various electronic styles, Objekt’s second album Cocoon Crush sees the DJ fully embrace the possibilities of dance music to create his best record yet. Moving between techno and drill n’ bass like the bastard son of Marcel Dettmann and Aphex Twin, its a smart and engaging headphones record with a rich and evocative sound palette. Experimental music like this, full of squiggly textures and robot-like sounds, is always in danger of being different for its own sake, but Objekt manages to find a way to keep it listenable without sacrificing anything. This is music that takes you to another realm.
Objekt – Lost and Found
The Most Symphonic Electronic Record Released All Year
It’s a bold, innovative record and one full of life, transporting one to another world with “Lost and Found (Lost Mix)”. Full of rain sounds, glassy synth textures, and neat marimba touches, it sounds like Avatar directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. It sets the tone for the rest of the atmospheric album; full of squiggly lines, empty spaces and rumbling low-end bass notes. The aptly-titled “Dazzled Anew” continues this theme: with a stop-start drum beat, koto melodies, and wobbly sine waves, it remains fully listenable while never seeming to repeat the same pattern in the same way twice.
Objekt, the alias of TJ Hertz, is a patient, smart producer, knowing when to put something in
Objekt – Dazzle Anew
Things take a darker turn on “Nervous Silk”, with haunting ambient industrial sounds and intermittent drum-lines. It’s a brave step in an album full of them, and although it cannot sustain itself throughout, it should be commended for its ambition. Breaking the deadlock is, er, “Deadlock” which perfectly counters “Nervous Silks” quiet with menacing bass drums and swirling background noise, sounding like the opening credits of a David Fincher movie. We are a long way from “Lost and Found (Lost Mix)” here, but thanks to Objekt’s mastery of tone, it doesn’t feel incongruous, more like he’s taking us on a strange journey with lots of twists and turns along the way.
Objekt – Nervous Silk
Techno With a Human Touch
“Rest Yr Troubles Over Me“ functions as a neat transition track, full of strange rumblings and whirring sounds, gamelan bells
Objekt – Rest Yr Troubles Over Me
Voices weave themselves throughout the album, giving it a human touch. Sometimes saying words, other times making weird noises, this is a soundscape that feels populated; giving its high-tech production value a certain warmth. “Secret Snake” puts all of these elements into play, blending human sounds with computer beeps, suggesting science fiction stories featuring anthropomorphic robots. Later on, in the track large 80s synth stabs break the tension, giving it a cinematic feel and the distinct possibility that Objekt could do almost anything. Techno rarely feels this expansive. Full of so much texture and brave ideas, it rewards repeat listenings.
To bring things back full circle, the album closes with “Lost and Found (Found Mix)”. While the original was all about building anticipation, the latter is the finished booming product. Reminiscent of Neil Young’s album Rust Never Sleeps, which starts with the acoustic “Hey Hey, My My (Out of the Blue)” and ends with the hard-riffing “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)“, its an ambitious way to give an album a sense of depth. This track delivers on the promise of its predecessor blending pizzicato strings, rattling noises, comforting synths and crashing percussion with almost inch-perfect precision. Its unlikely you will hear a record with more attention to detail all year. By the end, it feels like Objekt is showing off. That’s not a complaint – its great to see a virtuoso at work.
The Verdict: Objekt steps up a gear with the expansive Cocoon Crush, a minimal techno record that bursts with life and possibility. One of the best records of the year.
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Redmond Bacon is a film obsessive and amateur music producer who can easily spend all day either at the cinema or making fresh beats. Catch his writing over at redmondbacon.co.uk.