by Slav Ka
Kann Records is one of those rare breeds of record labels that loves to produce between the lines: it constantly flirts with various styles (mostly house and techno) but never commits fully to either side of the tracks (pun intended). As their productions typically occupy that enviable space between styles, they always present an interesting collection of ideas, consistently challenging our stylistic assumptions and inducing headaches in DJs who attempt to bin and classify Kann productions. Cmd Q is an artist that fits Kann's stylistic ambiguity and has been well represented on the label with his techno-but-not-really-techno tracks. At the risk of inducing a headache in this reviewer in an attempt to classify his sound, it could be described as some of the most delicate and melodic techno around, itself tightrope walking between melodic elements and elaborate beats, textures and percussions.
Fjord, from Cmd Q's latest EP on Kann, shifts the balance towards percussive intricacy and the track evolves through the usage of complex, shifting beat patterns and very carefully and sparsely placed textures, almost approaching Donato Dozzy territory for expressive minimalism. It is only towards the end of the track that the Mr.Q's signature melodic elements start seeping into the mix, tipping the balance toward the more traditional Cmd Q palette. The track is so close to techno, one could almost see Marcel Dettmann reaching for his wallet, yet the Cmd Q melodic sprinkle in the end keeps this piece deliciously ambiguous. How Kann-ing!