Hamburg native Ulf Lindemann is better known as [dunkelbunt] within the world of DJ performers that has sprung superstars like Moby. Lindemann has leant his ear and expertise to remixing eclectic world-music bands like Balkan Beat Box and 17 Hippies and injecting even more energy into forms like Klezmer. He’s no builder of bland techno sounds.
On his new album “Raindrops and Elephants,” Lindemann moves in and out of world music styles, juggling them into his beats and creating entirely new sounds through his method — all of them incredibly fun. Lindemann uses as source material his label mates from Piranha Records, utilizing samples and remixes, as well as original instrumentation, to create something vibrant.
Typical of his style, a song like “Mia Kwa Mia” mixes Hindi beats with Kenyan artist Cloud Tissa’s vocals, while throwing in some elegant jazz piano stylings. He takes these ideas further on “Balkan Quolou,” which sees him add Balkan sounds and soulful accordion to Cloud Tissa’s delivery, as well Sista K from Watcha Clan (the final track on the album, “Ch’ilet La Yani” is actually a remix of a Watcha Clan song) and MC Killo Killo. His quirky sensibility allows him to follow these up with “Tales of the Chocolate Butterfly,” a contemplative and exotic piano piece with little production added.
From there, it’s anyone’s guess what will come next. “Cinnamon Girl” offers up a techno equivalent of a Kid Creole song, with Lindemann himself taking vocals in duet with Barbara Tavernier. “Roll Away” starts off as a Gary Glitter drum riff and morphs into a herky-jerky Klezmer ska delivered by fellow DJ Selecta Bence. “Give You Action” mixes a horn riff that might come out of the mind of Michael Nyman with peppy reggae.
The album never lets up — its energy is such that you might want to put it on repeat to continue the excitement that not only your feet feel but also your ears. The album is both a sophisticated and simple dance music affair that speaks to the power of Lindemann’s ear and mind. 09/24/09
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