Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Exaltics & Heinrich Mueller - Dimensional Shifting review

Dimensional Shifting
The Exaltics & Heinrich Mueller
(Solar One Music / 2020)

On Spiralgalaxie (Hubble Telescope Series Vol. III) (2016) on Solar One Music, Heinrich Mueller and Robert Witschakowski last paired their own separate music together as a collection. There were also a few collaborative tracks to be found as well under the name Project STS-31. This must have paved the way for Dimensional Shifting, a whole album of them working together. Going by the superb artwork and the track titles it appears to be a concept album about the possibilities of a wormhole (an Einstein-Rosen bridge). On Bandcamp it's described as, '...stripped down layers mixed with chunky synthetic bass lines and stellar melodies over pounding 808 drums on this future classic tinted with nostalgia. Built as a journey through unknown territories...oscillates between moments of bravery on the dancefloor and moody sequences...' (a fair enough self-assessment). In fact they have been building a working relationship since at least 2015 with a few one-offs collaborations and Mueller remixes (check the Solar One Music discography).

I have here reviewed the tracks found on the standard double vinyl album and then move onto the bonus 12" and the extra tracks on the CD (both found on the special editions of the album). It's also worth stating (the obvious) how much of a positive difference is made to the musical frequencies here from being pressed on vinyl and heard through a half-decent hi-fi compared to listening to them as MP3 files through computer speakers/headphones.

'Temporal Matrix' opens the album and is a moody short introduction which sets the scene very well. 'Hologram Universe' really stood out for me and cheekily samples or recreates the bedrock of  'Superior Race', Dopplereffekt's debut 7" from 1995. This is a very unexpected move and obviously that wormhole goes back as well as forward! If you have been waiting for a return to this sound your hopes have been rewarded here. As the track evolves new sounds get added to the mix which do noticeably take it elsewhere but it's a nice 25 years later reboot for sure.

'Signal Filtering From Interstellar Noise' has a real cool bass line and synth sound and might actually be my favourite track. It ricochets along and gradually relaxes for a breather. The sounds are very dreamy and it keeps your attention throughout. 'Encoding' uses a signature Mueller bass-line (circa 2000) which propels it to the outer limits. The creeping atmospherics easily ignite the imagination too.

'Time Aperture' is another favourite for me, bouncy, light and very accessible, one of those tracks you would feel compelled to find out more about if you heard it at a club or party. I think this is one of their best efforts and will hopefully find a wider audience (one for those 'best of' Mueller radio mixes). '3.26 Parallax Seconds' is uptempo and really engages. It has at least three melodies complementing each other. One of those tracks which should manage to always sound fresh due to the surprising ways its sections work together.

'Search For Artificial Intelligence' is similar to the template and even some of the sounds used for 'Encoder'. Another fast pitched number, it really rockets along. In a classic Electro way, this will always be the sound of the future. 'Dimensional Shift' features Paris The Black Fu on vocals (by this stage the human element is welcome). This may be a leftover vocal track from a previous collaboration he did with The Exaltics on the We Exist (Chapter One) 12" (2020). A very uptempo back and forth track with a great change just before the vocal kicks in, edge of the seat stuff.

'Microwave Photon' again uses 'that' Mueller signature bass-line from both 'Encoder' and 'Search For Artificial Intelligence' but luckily the rest of the elements sprinkled around easily make it sufficiently different to function in its own unique terms. Another real standout for me.

In a fitting way the 'Closing The EPR Bridge' could also have served as the start of this time travelling and dimensional shifting journey. It's a more experimental sounding 3 minute movement you could enjoy on an infinite loop. It's a strong album but in the classic double pack tradition, a few real big ones for the feet and enough to satisfy the mind also.

Moving onto the generous bonus coloured vinyl 12" (available in the special editions) you find 'Wissenschaft der Zukunft' ('Science of the Future'). This is another track featuring vocals by Paris The Black Fu who in this case repeats the phrase, "Future and Science" in the way only he can. A good uptempo track with loads of nice atmospheric tones which keeps you listening. 'Dimensionsformel' is the other track and is another uptempo jumpy track which smoothly moves along and even though not a lot happens, somehow by the time you get to the half way point I got really into it.

There are three bonus tracks on the CD as well, also from the special edition and they are all short and more experimental (2-3 mins).

'Anti Proton Engagement Field' boldly stakes out some new ground. It's a bit short for me and could easily have evolved. I like where 'Dark Matter Radiation' was going as well on its slow, sinister, spacey, out of control orbit. 'Non Synchronised Multiverse (Hologram Updating) is quite beautiful and shimmers along in a detached standalone sort of way. 

You can order the digital and physical formats here and at all good record shops. Sound samples here.


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