Heitor Villalobos - "What You Say is More Than I Can Say" (The Empty Foxhole)
While many techno producers can take months to put out even the most paltry 12” single, one man who’s had no such trouble generating material in the last two years has been producer Stefan Goldmann. The Berlin resident consistently released records on renowned labels such as Perlon and Ovum to relatively little fanfare, but with 2007’s much loved single “Lunatic Fringe” and the founding of his own Macro imprint around the same time, Goldmann had the right momentum to hit his stride in 2008. Deep house double-disc The Transitory State capitalized on the enthusiasm surrounding his work and duly garnered award nominations and critical attention for a deft minimal touch.
Goldmann’s debut for Japan-based Mule Electronic (itself an arm of Kompakt’s Japanese distribution label) is hardly a brave leap forward in either his own technique or mixes in general. In fact, part of the strength of The Empty Foxhole is that it is throwback, both conservative in mixing style and in track selection. Ridding itself of the responsibility of being a genre-bending breakthrough for tech-house, this 17-track, 78-minute mix instead focuses on Goldmann as functional DJ and party-maker.
The nights out at Berghain have served him well. Culled from a mix of the biggest names on the house front (contemporary and colleague Ricardo Villalobos, Minilogue, Richie Hawtin under his Plastikman alias, etc.) alongside choice artists of equally high caliber, Goldmann’s greatest asset on this record is that he used records in the first place: Rather than religiously sticking to Ableton to ensure magic in every mix, Goldmann also employs the use of vinyl. It’s a refreshing change of pace, but you wouldn’t really know the difference if you hadn’t read it because Stefan is just that good at the moment. This class move (and execution) allows listeners to dwell on irresistible tracks like Panash’s “Cheval” or Dennis Ferrer’s “I Can’t Go Under.”
Ultimately, Stefan Goldmann finds the middle ground between his early floor-fillers and more recent material that’s earned him comparisons to Villalobos and an esteemed reputation in the electronic community. Though the two sides of his most recent 12” are both included in this mix, Goldmann has put aside a history of listening to Stockhausen and Xenakis to release a respectable compilation that will be sure to get hips moving in the absence of chin-scratching rumination. This should be more than enough to tide listeners over until his next release and another new step forward.