Moritz von Oswald Trio, "Vertical Ascent" (Honest Jon's)

Critical Mass
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by SPIN Staff

Von Oswald has been at the vanguard of electronic music for almost two decades, remaking German techno into something befitting a supercollider -- spacious, echoing, metalencased -- with Basic Channel, Maurizio, and Rhythm & Sound. Surrounded by fellow electronic abstractionist Sasu Ripatti (working here in his "Vladislav Delay" guise) and Sun Electric's Max Loderbauer, the trio explore the murky outer limits where dark ambient, dub, industrial, improv, and techno mingle. Otherwise stolid electro beats become pliant and fuzzy on "Pattern 1," while "Pattern 3" mixes the mechanical and organic as expertly as Aphex Twin's classic Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2.

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