Mord to release Alexander Kowalski’s first album in 12 years in May

by the partae

Berlin techno veteran Alexander Kowalski returns from the last years of focusing on his d_func and DisX3 projects and brings us his 5th studio album “Cycles” on the MORD imprint. MORD has been banging out releases since their 2013 inception, but “Cycles” is only their third album release, following up those of UVB and Stanislav Tolkachev. After having immediately established himself as an dynamic live act in 1997, Kowalski has made a career of engaging his fleet of machines in the production of everything from techno to house and dub.

Essentially a self reliant solo artist, Kowalski has also been a galvanizing force in his corner of the Berlin techno scene both as a label boss at Damage Music Berlin, production collaborator and remixer. “Cycles” heralds a return for Kowalski to the harder edged techno of his early career and an homage to the pioneers of early 90s. Kowalski built himself a rubric of hardware to both limit his pallet of sounds and to bring him closer to his original inspirations: Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Damon Wild, et al. “Cycles” expands on many of the ideas explored by d_func and DisX3. The majority of the tracks are booming, big-room techno with scaffolding built by his trusted TR-909, SH-101.

Kowalski carves out foreboding and abstract spaces with immense reverb, while synths crank out a floor of jagged and grinding bass lines. “Cycles” more cavernous tracks are populated with the genres characteristic submarine sonars and cold sweat inducing sirens. Deceptively simple grooves set by arpeggios and rollicking delays give way to a crisp and hissing filtered army of robotic insects that scurry atop the tracks. Fans of Kowalski’s natural talent for composing warm and soulful melodic counterpoint will recognize themes established in his three solo and two collaborative albums on Heiko Laux’s label Kanzleramt. “Cycles” dredges Alexander Kowalski’s musical past while making a compelling case for it’s frenetic future.

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