Barker makes solo debut on Ostgut Ton with new experimental dancefloor EP
Sam Barker has had a long ongoing relationship with Berghain and Ostgut Ton, having released two LPs and various EPs as one half of Barker & Baumecker and hosting regular nights at the club since September 2008 as co-founder of the label Leisure System. 2017 marked the beginning of his solo residency, 2018 sees his first solo release with Ostgut Ton.
Both as a musician and label owner, Barker operates on the fringes of techno, balancing experimentation with functionality. On Debiasing, he takes a hard look at the musical elements often considered necessary to maintain dancefloor momentum, with four distinct tracks of morphing synth stabs and paired down metronomic rhythms in varying time signatures. While there is no kick, snare, or clap to be heard, the result is not experimental techno deconstructions but driving, hypnotic and unlikely dancefloor tools.
This is rather difficult to describe. It's pretty minimalist with a strong focus on the drumming patterns, yet these are rather gentle and not aggressive. The more the listener progress through the tracks, some melodies start to come in smoothing a bit the edges. I'd recommend listening from beginning to end in one go to get the full scope of this EP. Thibaut Devigne