Dry, tongue-in-cheek humour is a funny thing: often the only way to know for sure if something is for real or not is knowing the context behind it. The Weimar label and events crew Somedate seem to relish in this unsettling confusion, wrapping masterful techno production around tangible tension. Their events have a strong following in Weimar, and they take the opportunity to experiment with the techno party formula. They’ve put out two excellent vinyl releases to date:
Max Goessler’s release ‘Slav‘ kicks off with a dirty spooky track full of moving sounds and bells over a tidy-dirty baseline set to fuel a late-night lights-off dancefloor. The B-side takes things into a more personal nightmarish direction, with ‘Yemase‘ featuring whispered and growled vocals between long breakdowns and sonically full verses. Proper tongues-out grimace-faced raving. A more familiar style club techno track then rounds out the release.
Francis‘ 12-inch A la seconde builds a more paced journey over the whole 3 tracks. Dusty kicks and noisy crackles are contrasted with drawn out synths to create an otherworldly atmosphere which reminds of Giegling (Weimar contemporaries) releases. The third track ‘Plie‘ brings the accumulated energy into a real peak, elegantly satisfying without resorting to a massive drop.
Both releases are technically great, rewarding repeated listens with new details and tight production. There’s a real haunting element to the best moments that leaves lasting impression. Is this really profound thinking-cap techno, or the purest rave tunes for dancing? Is there even a difference? The sense of humour comes out, but is there actually a joke?
This tension is reflected in all of their output. The poster for their 12/12/15 party was just a smug guy in a suit, and had us arguing over where the joke was. On the dance floor, a full rack of naked lightbulbs on dimmers alternated the room between total darkness and piercing bright light. At times, it was a bit jarring, not settling in to a comfortable flow that is often the central tenant of this kind of techno. But that sums Somedate up nicely – they submerge you into a unique field and when you surface leave you a little tense, edgy and dilated. They’ve said it themselves: “our love for music and a certain sense for aesthetics are at the forefront”. As of now, the two releases are up to stream on their youtube account and not hard to get hands on.