Thomas Brinkmann

Friday, June 2, at Speak in Tongues

Thomas BrinkmannYou never know quite what to expect from Cologne, Germany's Thomas Brinkmann. While it's safe to describe him as a techno artist, some qualifications have to be made. His music generally belongs to the German brand of techno -- a minimal, stripped-down set of beats and raw samples from movies and other sources that often comes across as valiantly repetitive. Like fellow German techno producers Mike Ink (Wolfgang Voight) and Thomas Heckmann (Silent Breed), a seemingly simple drum loop or bass beat makes up the bulk of Brinkmann's music, which delivers a constant thud that, after long enough, could annoy even the most stalwart of 14-year-old ravers. Brinkmann's releases on his own labels Ernst, Max, Max & Ernst, and Wv.B., as well as Compose, Noton, and Profan, all project his beat-heavy approach to techno, which has strong ties to the Detroit sound of Richie Hawtin and Jeff Mills.

Yet Brinkmann is also known for the way in which he approaches techno, having developed releases such as x100 with a primary focus on making the beat patterns you hear reflect a kind of visual symmetry and design inherent in the appearance of the record. He's also worked with multiple tone arms in his remixing duties for Mike Ink's Studio 1 Variationen, and by doing so, he emphasizes the differences between dual tone arms and needles. While his live performances have lately taken a stronger dance-focused turn, they still don't cater to traditional techno structures.