Whereas Ostgut Ton has made its name by delivering era-defining techno and house tracks, the past couple of years have seen the Berghain’s in-house label considerably expanding its sound. While still sticking to the label’s core aesthetic of dense, stoic electronics, recent releases from Answer Code Request, Barker and Vatican Shadow have all expanded Ostgut Ton’s sonic universe in exciting ways. Now, we can add Shed’s fifth LP Oderbruch to that list.
Like Answer Code Request’s Gens full-length, Oderbruch moves out from a techno base to incorporate influences as diverse as breakbeat, IDM and ambient composition. Tracks like ‘Die Oder’ and ‘Sterbende Alleen’ scuttle along at jungle tempo, their drums flitting impishly around the monitors, while ‘Menschen Und Mauern’ combines rolling breaks with a sound pitched somewhere between gothic techno and the wistful revivalism of Lorenzo Senni. These are offset by a number of fizzing DJ tools that come with the gravity and weight of other classic Ostgut Ton drops.
Shed says that the primary source of inspiration for Oderbruch is the East German region of the same name in which he grew up. This affinity for the area’s forestry and halcyon nostalgia for youth is rendered in a record full of lush, almost utopian sonics. Oderbruch bursts with bright synth tones that shimmer with the lucidity of a hazy memory, inviting you as a listener to also inhabit this dream-state. It makes for some hugely evocative moments.
Shed’s new album Oderbruch is some of the most verdant and varied music that the one born Rene Pawlowitz has ever made.