Heiko Laux brings to us his impressive fifth solo album filling a void in contemporary electronic music. Keeping consistent to his style, rhythmically challenging patterns flutter throughout the album making it a solid, coherent 8-piece composition. Hints of Detroit techno permeate the collection with drastic chord changes that gently tinker with the boundary between techno and trance.
With nature as a strong influence in the creative process, the replication of its kookaburra trill can be found throughout each piece. However, the bird itself carries significance in this collection, as it is a migratory bird that can found in many habitats similar to an individual suffering from fernweh.
With the first track “Brace” as a smooth introductory to the album, a steady downtempo slowly climbs into a persuasive bass-line setting the tone for the succeeding tracks. “Hexagon” on the other hand dives straight into a deep resounding kick making it clear this collection is also effective on the dance floor. The title track, “Fernweh,” plays a significant role in the essence of the album not only toying with its definition but in its resonating tone. With the meaning as a desire to be anywhere but the familiar, simultaneously distorted violins and ominous organs embody a longing for a far off land. Slow pattering hi-hats filled with reverb resonate to resemble a timeless techno sound. Imagination wanders far and wide wondering if we are on earth or traveling far out into the constellations.
“Neutron,” the fourth track on the album acts a perfect mediator, cutting the compilation into two whilst keeping consistent with galactic sonorities, it makes way for the next track “There There”. With its bouncing bass that mimics a throbbing acid line, it is a powerful track made with the dance floor in mind as it climaxes into rhythmic cymbals. “Shimmer” arrives with perfect timing, acting as a short peacemaker cleansing the palate. With its calming tone, the overlaying palpitations, it longingly awaits the heavy kick of “Rowing.” Consistent of the albums modulating notes and references to remoteness, its title references the journey of not only listening but also creating this collection as a whole. With “Align” as a very powerful final track, it slowly begins to decompress, each note beginning to vanish gently helping you land with feet back on the ground.
It is with great passion and experience that Heiko Laux is able to bring to us such an emotive and climactic selection as Kanzleramt continues to occupy the abyss in today’s techno culture.