Juan Atkins + Moritz Von Oswald Present Borderland Transport Tresor
Collaborative efforts in techno don’t come much weightier than the marrying of its two most distinct focus points: Berlin dub techno originator Moritz Von Oswald, and one of Detroit’s foremost techno pioneers – Juan Atkins.
It was surprising then, that their first effort as Borderland received somewhat tepid reviews. New album Transport, created as part of Berlin club institution Tresor’s 25th birthday commemorations, feels apt not just because of the aforementioned protagonists’ experience, but also because the sounds on display are a brilliant distillation of all that techno and all that time.
Transport feels modern, but also leans on consistently strong periods of engaging repetition, morphing, winding and bending across seven tracks. The opening title track is all menace and tension, recalling early Plastikman. Riod (which had its own EP release) is a startling production, with swirling lines and heady early morning harmonies that could soundtrack a pulsing dance floor as equally as your own introversion. Album mid-point Mekur is a muddier complexity but still warbles away over a pulsing four-four kick to great effect. Transport is a techno album by all intents and purposes. The variation may be a little jarring for purists, but the production quality on display is befitting of the personnel involved. There’s some genuine magic here.