Before and during our last radio show, myself and Monsewer Harry Sword chatted a lot regarding the transparency of music and the influences apparent on certain artists. Lots of stuff came up for discussion, amongst which was current plat du jour L.I.E.S. It's hard to define why this label, instead of Creme Organization, for example, should have made such an impact. Right place right time I suppose. However, feeling tangibly eclectic while having a genre - defying sound could also be a plus. Whether planned or not, L.I.E.S. and other labels like The Trilogy Tapes, WT and Hinge Finger have come along at a time when glossy pap malingerers masquerading as underground standard bearers have reached saturation point. It's a timely intervention and one which comes redolent with credibility.
Because it's clear that when listening to the music on these labels, and others of the same ilk, that the music makers listen, and have a sonic heritage which doesn't just involve house, techno, disco and clubbing. The DIY aesthetic feels fresh again and, while it may be heavily stylised in places, does exude a knowledge which comes complete with its own unwritten system of values. It's also a visual style 'ting too. The music speaks volumes but the artists are, to a degree, invisible and not really that arsed as far as following fashion is concerned but the beauty of that is of course that they have, in the process, cultivated their very own brand identity. It just remains to be seen how soon we'll have to wait for them to relocate to Ibiza for the summer.
It's difficult to ascertain the influences which go into the making of the Ostgut Three's music, even though I like it in varying degrees. Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann and Marcel Fengler each have a laboratorial approach to composition which doesn't seem to integrate itself with any obvious outside impact. It's techno, and its influences are techno. Sure, Luke Slater seems to be an omnipresent factor but beyond him, and a very prominent European take on the genre, it's not easy to read much else in. There's a dirt and grit which ebbs and flows, and then the converse, clean lines which rise to the occasion and pummel away at a great rate of knots. As selectors Dettmann is probably the most diverse, Klock the most predictable and Fengler potentially the best. They're all technically superb, but there's still the feeling that they could be so much better if they each went out on a limb a little more.