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Oasis (LP)

Label: Kompakt

Format: LP

Genre: Electronic

In process of stocking


2024 reissue. Dettinger’s Intershop and Oasis have long been held, by many fans of ambient and electronic music, to be some of the finest albums in their field. Produced by the mysterious Olaf Dettinger, about whom not much is publicly known, they were some of the earliest full-lengths released by the then-nascent Kompakt, and in many ways, they both articulated and defined the sound that would come to be known as Pop Ambient, while also existing, somehow, to the leftfield of any clearly recognisable genre.

Beautiful, sui generis works, it is a rare pleasure to see them being reissued on vinyl for a new generation of listeners to embrace. Originally released on CD only in 1999, Intershop was Kompakt’s first artist full-length. The music here simmers and broods, with opulent banks of tone marking out territory for rhythms that seem to be built from the clacking detritus of technology – hisses, thunks, knocks. Bass is deployed carefully, each drop a dubbed-out depth charge; drones spin and spiral, warping and weaving between the beats.

Oasis, released in 2000, refined the palette that Dettinger had explored on its predecessor. A blurred crusade of ambient texturology, its unassuming patterns, and subtle, incremental dynamics, admit to real beauty, and a kind of abstract sensuality that you don’t often experience with music that is, perhaps, similarly tooled, but not as poetic. Through seemingly simple gestures – whether lushly expansive repetitions, hyper-acute tremolo tones, or ear-tickling rhythms – it builds complex emotional resonance. It’s no surprise to discover Oasis is held in high esteem by artists like Panda Bear of Animal Collective, who once said of Dettinger, “For us, he was the dude.”

There is, of course, other music to know Dettinger by, too – his three excellent EPs for Kompakt, Blond (1998), Puma and Totentanz (1999), the latter of which, Michael Mayer once argued, “invented dubstep.” There is also a small, yet graceful run of compilation contributions, many of which can be found on Kompakt’s Total and Pop Ambient series. All this music has plenty to recommend it, sharing a clarity of purpose, and a rare, human warmth and depth. But Intershop and Oasis are the releases that distil Dettinger’s singular vision, and allow him, should he wish, to claim his place as a modern master of ambient and electronic music.

Cat. number: KOMPAKT 479
Year: 2024

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