The fundamental duality of electronic music lies in the fact that while being crowd-orientated in nature, it still insists on being artistically expressive. A consequence of this is that higher-brow ‘IDM,’ or ‘Intelligent Dance Music,’ doesn’t always resemble House or Techno; the two seem almost antithetical to each other. It takes talented producers to reveal that dance music can articulate beauty beyond 4×4 beat-patterns without turning its back on them; that there is in fact, a harmonious relationship between both club and ambient music. For few others does this talent show itself so readily than in the work of producer Roman Flügel, whose recent EP, All the Right Noises, is a lesson in electronic music.
Whilst many would look to Berlin as the beating heart of German techno music, it’s worth remembering that when it comes to softer-sounding Electronica, the smaller cities have been key to shaping the musical landscape of the country for decades. Experimental pioneers Atom™ and Ulrich Schnauss, for example, started off in Frankfurt and Kiel respectively, while Brian Eno’s electronic masterpiece Music for Airports, was made in Cologne, influencing virtually any Electronica EP made since. This legacy resonates throughout Frankfurt-born Flügel work, whose formal musical education, enthused with a sincere passion for electronic music, has made him world-renowned as a club DJ.
Flügel’s All the Right Noises leads the listener on an odyssey through his myriad musical influences with effortless continuity: this is an EP meant to be listened to in one sitting. Beat-less, often instrumental pieces like ‘Fantasy,’ and ‘Believers,’ are woven delicately into rolling 4×4 tracks like ‘Warm and Dewy,’ a 130bpm drum-track that a lesser producer would struggle to fit into a largely ambient album. This mercurial, ambiguous album creates a sense of nostalgia that avoids being straight-forwardly sentimental. Never staying in one place, All the Right Noises is a polyrhythmic fusion of dance and experimental styles of electronic music that is neither pretentious nor straightforward, neither ‘coffee-table,’ techno designed for discerning audiophiles to scratch their chins over, nor a simplistic dance EP that tells you how to feel. Essential listening.