Stephan Bodzin - "Liebe Ist"

gek-opel

entered apprentice
Anyone heard this yet? With reference to my previous comments last year about Booka Shade and how I felt their minimal version of trance was somewhat, well, lacking-- this is basically precisely what I dreamed of- exquisitely engineered, endlessly shifting and re-formulating textural arrangements, bright synthetic melodics and rapturous swoops into near total overwhelming sound that snap back immediately into thrumming pulsing rhythm tracks... never quite giving in to the cheese, perfectly balanced and impressively single minded (ie no half-assed down tempo gear herein)

It kind of reminds me Somewhat of the recent Gui Boratto in its inventive arranging trickery, in that they function very much as the anti-Villalobos (as epitomised in Fizheuer Zieheuer and the Shackleton remix) : hypnosis is not the name of the game, rather excessive ecstatic dynamic shifts and tricks, elongated breakdowns and endlessly switched up fx...
 
Last edited:

DJ PIMP

Well-known member
Some great stuff on it for sure, but its well worth sifting through his singles from the past year or so to catch the best bits hes put out (Sao Paolo, Pendulum, Mucky Star, some of the stuff on Herzblut etc). I'm not so keen on it in an album format - having listened to his stuff a lot I found it a little samey sounding and dry.

That said he's easily one of the most distinctive producers around... he simply blows me away. I love the thrumming bass (Vangelis 2007) and vibes, the shifts in texture and mood you describe. The way he can draw out a track, creating a brooding momentum that gradually builds and then breaks through to a climax before being snatched away. It's a favourite trait of mine in tracks; to always leave people wanting more.

I assume a big part of his sound comes from his use of analog gear (his dad was a musician with lots of analog kit). In that respect he's in the same class as Rhythm & Sound for me; stunning nuance that develops across an oeuvre, drawn from a range of equipment and technique that people may attempt to emulate but never quite capture.

What a don.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
Ive not heard his stuff before so I'm enjoying the single-mindedness of it quite a lot (he's got a few very very nice tricks, the zooming ultra-breakdown into improbably lush stacked melodics snapping back into hard-bitten rhythm being the prime example obviously)... also the way the audio-picture is built up with so much space surrounding the basic track elements to enable massively ear-grabbing moments and samples to swoop overhead is pretty clever, listening on headphones is pretty awe-inspiring (like an art-minimal take on so called "big room" techniques I guess). It IS a bit samey and extremely dry, a very limited pallette indeed, but with minimal techno especially the more cohesive the vision the better in my estimation at least... I can't believe people are repping The Field (nice enough as it is) over this! But if Trance sounded as beautifully, artfully constructed as Bodzin's work I'd be on the podium with a gurn on like a shot...
 
Last edited:

aleksy

Active member
I not so sure yet, I certainly like his singles as singles. I agree there is a sense of mutating dynamics here - but in some of this nu-trancey stuff, I start to find the actual minimal elements of the sound quite frustrating. Like clicky drums aren't actually all that fun when they are more texture than structure.

Trance moment: I though the title track was threatening to turn into Barber's adagio for strings!
 

DJ PIMP

Well-known member
Like clicky drums aren't actually all that fun when they are more texture than structure.
Hmm, that isn't a criticism I'd level at Bodzins material where everything is generally fat and purposeful... and he hits a nice balance between dull, fussy minimal style percussion and functional/funky drum machine type beats.

Gek, if you're interested in some good examples of newish electroey, but more trad (clean melodics) trance have a listen to:

Guy Gerber & Gregor Tresher - Open The Gates (gorgeous, sweet)
Lake & Leger - Aqualight (sparkly and innocent)
Pryda - Frankfurt (great), RYMD

This kind of stuff works as an excellent counterpoint to grimier German material or trashy-fun electro house.
 

aleksy

Active member
Cheers I'll check em out

Do you not think the clicky elements are more superfluous to the groove than in a housier minimal production say? For me, that's just a function of it being trancey, not necessarily a weakness. I'm not sure whether I like the overall textural effect over the course of an album.
 
Last edited:

blunt

shot by both sides
Thanks for the tip, Gek-Opel; to my shame I'd never heard of him :(

Love the lazy time-stretched zither feel of the title track, in particular. Very DJ Koze (a fave of mine).
 

Chris

fractured oscillations
Finally picked this album up yesterday... Stephan certainly does manage to somehow paradoxally balance the understatement of minimal with swelling trance "importance". I like how the riffs and throbs hint at an underlying musicality to the tracks, but an overt and concise melody is never present, only vaguely suggested at best... a contemporary answer to the grand focus placed on the central melody in late 90s trance. I almost wouldn't mind a return of a little bombast ("a little bombast", is that an oxymoron?) in the German continuum if it can maintain this tasteful balance.
 

Tim F

Well-known member
I adored the promo DJ mix Bodzin put out in, oh, April last year. Great mix of sounds, including some more housey stuff than he does now - "SL Mirage" and "Atlas" done in collab-o with Marc Romboy are like gothic takes on the Get Physical handclap electro-disco template, still wooshy like other Bodzin but there's a bouncy lightness of touch there as well, plus he kicks off with "Who's Afraid of Detroit?". "SL Mirage" is probably still my favourite Bodzin-related effort.

Of course the mix also includes lots of his more moody deep electro-trance post-"The Sky Was Pink" tracks, back when these tracks were still quite rare.

But then, over the course of the last year the resemblance to Holden's "The Sky Was Pink" remix has just seemed to get stronger with every release, until it starts to look like some elaborate homage exercise. It doesn't help that all the tunes he coproduces with Romboy, Oliver Huntemann, Thomas Schumacher and as part of Electrochemie usually sound similar.

Nonetheless it is all still awesome sounding.

Some recommendations:

- Marc Romboy & Stephan Bodzin - "Miranda" - one of the early super-dark whoosh tracks, again in collaboration with Marc Romboy. This one has a fantastically cruel electro-house bassline that just gets more and more distorted.

- Stephan Bodzin - "Tron" - the original? and one of the best. Insanely detailed, and it has this kind of "computer descending into suicidal/homicidal depression/rage" vibe to its detuning synths. He pretty much revived this track in its entirety on the also very good "Sillhouette".

- Depeche Mode - Everything Counts (Oliver Huntemann & Stephan Bodzin Remix) - probably the raviest Bodzin-associated track, great use of samples from the original and the breakdowns are insane. Perhaps too cheesy for some listeners round these parts?

- Sono - Blame (Bodzin & Huntemann Instrumental) - heavy! Total black-out sheets of noise. I have no idea what this would do on a dancefloor but would love to see. Generally the Huntemann collaborations have a great melodramatic goth feel about them; conversely some of them are bad post-electroclash.

- Booka Shade - In White Rooms (Electrochemie Mix) - This one cuts out the big climax from the original and so feels a bit wimpy but viewed the other way it's teasing is awesome, Bodzin's slow filter-sweeps and stuck-needle loops giving this sense that the track is always about to burst into something astonishing. It never does but that's part of the fun.

- The Knife - Like A Pen (Thomas Schumacher Mix) - Classic Bodzin sound. Everything about this one is perfectly produced, love how each sound is stereopanned until the track literally swirls around your ears.

Bodzin's "Daytona Beach" is supposed to be very good as well but I haven't heard it.
 

DJ PIMP

Well-known member
Any samples online?
Juno or Beatport carry most of those tracks.

Tim - The Romboy stuff is great. So smooth it glides. The track he did last year with Blake Baxter 'In the Club', classic stuff.

Also love the Huntemann tracks 37 Degrees, 51 Poland St, Manga (Schumacher remix), and the H-Man remix of Ramirez and Mowbrays 'I Choose Anger' that was recently re-released - dark restraint drops to a mean jarring off-kilter riff.

Daytona Beach is cool... there are some gems in the Rekorder series too.

Their stuff is like Pokemon; its so addictive.
 
Last edited:

DJ PIMP

Well-known member
Fans of the Bodzin/Romboy must check out their new single Callisto/Pandora.

Supremely elegant deep techno... right up there with some of the smooth neo-classical Detroit thats been coming out the past year like Art of Tones "Praise" or the Llorca mixes of 2020 Soundsystems "High", only in the Systematic style, of course.
 

doom

Public Housing
Daytona Beach is cool... there are some gems in the Rekorder series too.
Daytona Beach is lush. Odd one to mix Ive found.

8.1 in the rekorder seris is so ill it amazes me. 6.3 is ace as well.

When Romboy & Bodzin colab they do magic tunes - I get the feeling Bodzin is at his best working with others.

Lo - by Romboy & Bodzin is great. So is Ferdinand

Kerosene. Amazing tune.

Phobos.

Papillon. So BIG. chk the tom 'fill'

Im really feeling the Elektrochemie stuff as well.

Dont Go & Youre My Kind in particular.

Like bleep sez, sooo many tunes. One question tho, isit House or isit Techno. I call it house cos of the 808 kick & it seems overly emo for techno - perhaps my prejudice.

Chk out Dowee for some mixes;

http://www.myspace.com/djdowee

leech vol1 is quality - dunno if hes got it up there but he did a shorter mix before the leech one, that basically got me hooked on this shit.
 

DJ PIMP

Well-known member
House/Techno... dunno, I've had that debate another time on a different board concerning their stuff. The argument then was that they weren't driving and repetitive enough to be Techno, which I think is silly.

I think of the electro-house I like as being techno for the most part... same with the Tel Aviv new trance stuff, Gerber and Shlomi Aber etc.

But like Roman Salzger said, it's still disco.

Callisto is rapturous............................................................!
 

sodiumnightlife

Sweet Virginia
callisto was nice...but it just didn't quite get there. Some sort of energy, that intense emotional aura you get off alot of bodzin wasn't there. Plus the recent rekorders have been heavy, but lacking any sort of interest or excitement for me.
 

DJ PIMP

Well-known member
Callisto - one of their deepest, most elegant tracks yet... I've listened to it at least once every day since I got it. I could see how it might seem underwhelming, but at the right party at 5am, those tones would be absolutely magic. It's one of those hitting-a-new-plateau trance type tracks that releases all the tension and friction and opens people up again.

If this is their new direction I love it already.
 

polystyle desu

Memories of green
Bodzin in NYC

Happy to report Bodzin just killed it last night @ Bar 13 , NYC.
His first trip to town , ram packed club , ok soundsystem -good enough to do the job.
One song on each CDR, unreleased stuff from his producer friends , Bodzin was still rockin it when I left.
He should have a blast as his tour moves onto Mexico , S America and Tokyo.
As summer seems to have come back for a day or two , it was a place to sweat.
The 3 AM air outside afterwards was nice too !
 

psherburne

Well-known member
that's great to hear. i really dug bodzin's set at synch festival in athens a couple months back -- he really made the most of the performative aspects (for a laptop set), what with the lemur controller and that MIDI ribbon controller, plus the white (cotton?) gloves he was wearing (presumably to keep him from sweating all over his lemur, which as a touchscreen would probably be rendered useless by sticky fingers). a little overblown and silly-macho at points (for instance, brandishing his MIDI ribbon controller over his head -- phallic phallic!), but that was half the fun, really.
 
Top