An eclectic blend of various electronic styles, Objekts 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 nbass 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

Its 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 Anewcontinues 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 and even more crucially when to take it out. 35starts rather simply, with a programmatic drumbeat perfectly suited for a smoky Berlin basement, before slowly introducing new and exciting elements. Voices are introduced like in Kraftwerk’s “Numbers”, repeating lines like left foot forwardto hypnotic effect. Its hard to say what it all means, but the thrilling sense of momentum is more symphonic than any other electronic record this year.

 Objekt – Dazzle Anew

Things take a darker turn on Nervous Silk, with haunting ambient industrial sounds and intermittent drum-lines. Its 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, Deadlockwhich perfectly counters Nervous Silksquiet 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 Objekts mastery of tone, it doesnt feel incongruous, more like hes 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 and robotic voices, achieving a brilliant sense of dread where Nervous Silkcouldnt quite make it. From there, Silicais full experimental, perhaps soundtracking what it might be like if an advanced spaceship computer had a nervous breakdown. Its here that the Aphex Twin influence feels the most prominent thankfully Objekt takes this track away from mere homage and puts his own spin on it. It leads nicely into Runaway, a low-key chase song featuring slinky drums replete with little snare rolls, handclaps and hi-hats taps, childrens voices and mysterious piano. Suggestive without being explicit, its both danceable and ever-so-slightly scary.

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 Snakeputs 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.

Conclusion

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 Youngs 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. Thats not a complaint its great to see a virtuoso at work.

The VerdictObjekt 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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Tell us what you think about Objekt’s new album in the comments!

Redmond Bacon

Redmond Bacon

Contributor

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.

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