BERKOVI is BACK! They say music never dies and the creativity in an artist can never truly be extinguished. For one techno veteran of the scene this couldn't be more true. Having cemented his name in the techno history books Justin Berkovi is about to burst back on the scene after lying low for a few years with his 6th album "Mondrian" out soon on Trapez. We have witnessed Justin on the rise again for the last 20 months taking each step with care and a lot of understatement. His live set for FUSE in Belgium in 2011 and his set with showcasing new material at Berghain's 7th Anniversary in December 2011 left unmistakable traces as well as recent releases with prominent English artists such as Kirk Degeorgio and Perc. So we have asked Justin many months ago to write an exclusive album for Trapez and we are happy that after an almost sabbatical period of work and sweat Justin has come up with a breathtaking album. Skilfully he has stitched together tracks with emotional depth as well as mighty groovers making this a very special work culminating in a phenomenal diversity and togetherness at the same time. With people like Ben Klock dropping old Djax classics such as Berkovi's 'The Groove' you realise that Berkovi now residing in London has done his techno 'time' and his material from over 10 years ago still is popular today. From his debut EP on Cristian Vogel's 'Mosquito' label to fantastic releases on Sativa, Harthouse ('Sustained Buxom Mad Chips' ) Djax Up Beats and more, up to albums and 12"s on the now legendary label Music Man (home of Petar Dundov, Deetron, et al) to releases for Monika Kruse's label Terminal M and and for Perc's label Pec trax up to his super releases on his own label Predicaments and Nightrax , Justin has always kept the artistic edge with all his releases. Artists as Phil Kieran, Joris Voorn, Si Begg, DJ Rush, Max Walder, Christian Wünsch, Adam Jay, Ben Sims, Aubrey, Perc, Henning Baer, Jack Dixon have remixed Berkovi in the past paying him respect for his work. His album "Mondrian" is Justin's newest "invention" and it's his best to date, a true encompassing voyage through marvellous, mellifluous masterpieces of music. It is also showing a crucial sense of emotional sensibility and melodic sensuality throughout the album. Atmosphere and space meet a heavenly monotone funk here. The album starts with the grand opening of "Godspeed". A track that could be the soundtrack for the "Underworld" and a civilization that is falling apart. Berkovi here twists vintage simplistic strings and bends emotions to the max in a superb way. There is a spaciousness and urban gleam to this surreal mood which fascinates. "Mondrian" overtakes and directly hits with an superb blast of post Detroit techno at it' s best. Tension is being being build up in waves, nervous energy is heavily rotating... making it a beast of a club trax! There is no doubt this is going to be a massive track for Berkovi and a standout for the album. "Nadir" fades in… forgetting the 4 to the floor beat here… expanding like a balloon in slow motion, filling up the space with 3-D string arrangements, moody and melodic. "Mainline Tension" kicks the hell out of the place... starting off cool and waiting for it's turn... all very British and relaxed with a subtle melody keeping up a signal of life before it jumps into a pool of sounds that lead to heavy alien sounds and chord stabs making it an adventurous and cool piece of purposeful techno. "Ocean" is all vintage with a fantastic bassline, has a wonderful stop and go rhythm to it… soothing and gentle all the way, like water hitting the shore in waves. Then there is "Voices" approaching, sending out alarming sounds building up some kind of hysteria and urgency skilfully realized with a tightly knit drum patterned cool off beat programming. This is a tougher more industrial side to Berkovi's work that people will be familiar with from many of his dance floor releases. "Children Of The Night (Rise Again)" rises gently, it is all moody and poetic, shows elements of happiness within a what you would call a "darkened world". This track connects nicely with the opening track and creates it's own circuit within this album. It's the type of wonderful introspective work that made Justin one of the late John Peel's favourite techno artists. Justin cites John Peel as a huge inspiration and was honoured to produce two Peel Sessions for the show as well as being included on the Kats Karavan John Peel dedication album released last year. "Days Go By" sounds like a title that would play it cool like the bebop jazz trax… misleading here... since the track is so impressively emotional... and is without doubt a masterpiece of post Detroit music with an arrangement so complex and so sexy... one would kill for this track. "Surveillance" walks in and introduces itself step by step, waiting like a stalker in the dark then walks out into the open, changes position... undergoing a transformation… finally creating tension installing... an atmosphere of observation and unease. "Heritage" introduces itself with a kick drum and evokes Berlin techno days at their best - old school vocals and Detroit piano chords create a nice vintage feeling. "The Observer" takes out the tension of "Heritage" and establishes an wonderful bloomy garden of sounds with its grand intro and makes its way into techno world with beats and and baselines at ease and all cool. "City Lights" is a soundtrack of a track, all grey and rainy and dark, in it it always rains… a wonderfully cinematic track by Berkovi and a perfect soundtrack for the new Batman movie! "Heat" is a bit of a bonus track for the album... starting quietly but when the bassline kicks in a new world unfolds. "Heat" summarises what this album is all about... it is a perfect "Tech Noir" trip in an urban jungle told with a strong understatement and economy.
(added: 2012-09-24 10:40:26 )