Alexander Kowalski: “Cycles”
Written by Marsona B on March 24, 2018
“Cycles”, the first studio album in 12 years of Berlin-based veteran dj/producer Alexander Kowalski. The triple-vinyl pack and CD is out in May via Bas Mooy’s Mord records from Rotterdam.
In a 20+ years long career, “Cycles” is Alexander’s 5th full-length album, following memorable ones on Heiko Laux’ Kanzleramt, and the 3rd one among Mord’s prolific catalogue, following the ones of Stanislav Tolkachev and UVB released over the past years.
Alexander Kowalski is one of the few original representatives of the unique history of a techno city like Berlin. In “Cycles”, the spirits of Alexander’s aliases d_func. and DisX3 flit on an edgy techno of the early days: 13 cuts out of a limited set of classic analogue machines.
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 a 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 its frenetic future.
The label shared also a captivating video teaser showcasing the recording process.
Artist: Alexander Kowalski
Release Date: May 25th, 2018
Format: Vinyl 3×12″// CD // Digital
Catalogue Number: MORDLP003
A1 / 1. Cycles (The Opening)
A2 / 2. Uprising
B1 / 3. The Carbon Boy
B2 / 4. From Within The Circle
C1 / 5. Endless Shimmer
C2 / 6. And So I Watch You From Afar
D1 / 7. Trust In The True Spirit
D2 / 8. The Totem
E1 / 9. Ode To The Wolves
E2 / 10. First Breath After Coma
E3 / 11. A Mistaken Identity
F1 / 12. Rotary Deadlock
F2 / 13. Cycles (The 13th Chapter)
W + P by Alexander Kowalski.
Art by Claude Eden.
Cat. No. MORDLP003 – All rights reserved
. & © Mord Records 2018