Some time has passed now since Bertram Denzel and Erik Huhn's debut full-length, the epic 'Time is a Good Thing', and in the years that have passed their patented brand of textured, looping ambience has reached heady new heights of popularity. Denzel & Huhn's production methods are deceptively simple; songs are written and played with 'real' instruments, then deconstructed carefully into loops and small samples before being re-assembled and reformed, sculpted and fashioned into new compositions. Thanks to this process the resulting work is comparable to listening to the ghosts of music past; there are distant echoes of instruments crushed beyond recognition, eruptions of rhythm and rumbles of electronic excess - yet none of these elements take a firm grip, every element is like a layer of silt at the bottom of a gently moving river. You might hear for a moment a flute or a distant organ sound, a saxophone or string bass, but in seconds it's gone only to be pushed into the back of your mind, and the track has moved into a fresh direction. The opening track 'Kleiner Bruder' is a perfect example of this; opening up with the sort of grandiose strings we might associate more closely with Denzel + Huhn's City Centre Offices label mate Marsen Jules, but before long the electronic elements push the strings into submission to make way for a lightly plucked acoustic guitar that glistens with intimacy. Elsewhere 'Karlsruhe' blends noisy pads and ethereal bells with bowel churning bass and occasional spluttering analogue percussion to devastating effect - this is music which literally sounds like it has been put through a reel-to-reel machine so many times that it has degraded beyond all recognition, and it's all the better for it. Denzel & Huhn find beauty in disperate elements, a bric-a-brac shop of sounds made up of aural treasures that have been abandoned and unseen for so many years that they are draped in thick dust and an ageless charm. This is a record you can go back to time and time again and keep on finding new elements to digest, fresh surprises, a record that genuinely needs to be given a warm and loving home. It's the finest antique you'll buy this year.
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