Steffi | World Of the Waking State | ostgutcd41/lp27
Steffi occupies a unique space in the realm of contemporary electronic music. Although she’s a world renowned DJ, Steffi’s musical interests reach far beyond the dancefloor, and it’s her work as a producer that has established an impressive, hard-won legacy. Soon after moving to Berlin in 2007, Steffi joined Ostgut, becoming a resident at Panorama Bar and releasing on the club’s label. To date she’s released five albums, including two solo for Ostgut Ton, a co-production with Virginia, another with Analogue Cops as Third Side and a collaboration as Doms & Deykers on Martyn’s 3024 label. Her impressive discography features club classics like “Yours feat. Virginia”, carefully chosen remixes and appearances on labels including Permanent Vacation, Underground Quality and mixes for Panorama Bar and fabric. She owns and operates four labels: Klakson (with Dexter), Dolly, Dolly Deluxe and Dolly Dubs.
World Of The Waking State is Steffi's third solo album for Ostgut Ton and a musical departure for both her and the label. It’s also a serious statement of intent. Over ten tracks she embarks on entirely new electronic terrain for her productions, marking industrial spaces with superlunary warmth while exercising a refined knowledge of polyphony and arrangement. Subdued melodies interact with each other over implied harmonies and microcosmic drum patterns, luring us into a world that is introverted, bewildering and gratifying all at once.
“Different Entities” opens with shaded harmonies and glitchy signals, while the pulsing “Continuum Of The Mind” develops with cyclical melodies swaying through staccato percussion. On “All Living Things” complex rhythms take the attention over the restrained melody. “The Meaning Of Memory” pairs low-slung, squidgy percussion with overcast melodic interactions and “Schools Of Thought” flickers through uncharted interplanetary spaces. Title track “World Of The Waking State” pushes pulsing basslines and woeful refrains through an industrial void, while “Kokkie” flickers with acid tones over the languid bass drive. “Mental Events” paints a shadowy aura driven with echoing snares, and “Bounces Of Nature” flaunts meditative pads and expertly layered percussion. Closer “Cease To Exist” brings together the mangled percussion and subtle melodies of the album to full effect.
On World Of The Waking State Steffi stretches her wings, having created the album in a period when she found herself free from the past and more comfortable in her own skin. The shift in her mindset led to a new freedom of exploration in her creativity, enabling her to write more experimentally and logically resulting in this new album. Gone are the classic drum sounds and conspicuous melodies of her previous works. Instead, Steffi’s productions unify disparate molecular details to forge a greater whole, reflecting a serious commitment to abstract electronic composition that manifests itself here as a totally inimitable collection of tracks. World Of The Waking State is a confident and mature work of complex rhythms and refined melodies. The overall effect is as subtle, unique and thought provoking as the artist herself.
more info & soundclips: ostgut.de/label/record/201