Producer and artist DenkMensch is fast becoming one of the most interesting underground producers and electronic composers of our time, thanks to consistencies in everything from work ethic to creativity and passion. Releasing yet another two-track EP this month, beginning with a uniquely thoughtful Mirror, the project shines further light on the versatility and range of his artistic reach.
What separates this release in particular is that the music came from a sheer desire to express and create – not something focused on exploring production techniques or bass-work, as is more commonly the case. Mirror tells a deeply personal story, that of remembering standing before a mirror in his younger days, reflecting upon his reflection; and the perspective of the self in comparison to that of others.
“I looked at my reflection and asked myself: is this person in the mirror me or just my appearance? I understood at that moment that all my thoughts and feelings are not visible to other people and cannot be seen by anyone else…“
As this classic trance beat pounds on, synth chords keep a mellow sense of progression in the distance, and this quick-fingered keys-riff rains down with a subtle sort of urgency and melody. You can appreciate the electronic ambiance as much so as the performance aspect, and this is furthered by the inclusion of a vocal line – all of which helps separate Mirror from previous releases in a subtle yet still intentional way.
We get close to six minutes of this, the rising melody, distant and reverb-soaked, fragments of thought that inspire equal thoughtfulness in the listener, and the relentless rhythm of the drum. It’s a hypnotic, immersive piece, as is often the way with DenkMensch’ creative offerings. There’s also plenty to appreciate in the nostalgic, eighties-esque use of synths and the depth of that voice.
Holding on to strong threads between the two tracks of this EP, By Fly follows on with a similar instrumental set-up. The beat pounds through at a welcomed and fitting pace, meanwhile these synths scatter about the room, leaving trails of melody and life all around.
There’s a touch of organic sound design in the descending bass, which contrasts beautifully with the rising, higher notes found elsewhere. Then there’s the half-way break from rhythm, a dreamlike moment of brief delicacy and reflection, before things drop back in with subtle precision and warmth.
Slowly but surely the layers gather further momentum during this latter half, the beat pulsating through the detail and keeping the body engaged, the various other intricacies prompting the mind to wander freely in the process.
While there are certain traits to DenkMensch’ musical style and catalogue, each new release effectively offers some new realm or journey for listeners to experience, and this, combined with clear professionalism and artistic freedom, is what helps make his music so appealing and easy to escape into.