By Jonno Coll.
As the clubbing calendar turns from February to March, it feels like a significant time at Backdrop HQ. Spring is upon us, festival line-ups are falling all around us and our attention begins to wander towards the summer. In the meantime, we get to enjoy a stellar month of programming in one of Newcastle’s iconic venues. Not least, Backdrop with Objekt.
It hasn’t taken long for Cosmic Ballroom to feel like home. A truly weird and wonky techno wonderland, Jane Fitz was the perfect guest for the housewarming party. Yet we have no reason to believe that our latest guest won’t up the ante even further. After all, he’s a Berghain and Dekmantel regular, releasing some truly essential techno while becoming one of the most sought after performers in the industry.
This isn’t without good reason. Objekt has long been an essential cog in Berlin’s fine-tuned techno machine. He is an absolute master of his craft. An obsessive who cares as much about his hardware as he does about the sounds coming out of it. The aptly named TJ Hertz has likened his approach to making music to throwing paint at a wall to see what sticks, before refining what remains. A self-confessed perfectionist, always pushing for the next record to be better and badder than what went before. His debut album Flatland was widely acclaimed and saw him gain his reputation for putting un-natural sounds into their natural order.
His calculated approach has produced hard, visceral techno. The chaos on the dancefloor totally at odds with the man’s calm demeanour. Objekt’s tracks are built using nuts and bolts of percussive bumps and bleeps, a science which Hertz has perfected. Ever since his second EP, CLK Recovery, grabbed people’s attention his philosophy has not changed.
Yet despite taking such a methodical approach to music, the story Objekt tells is rarely boring. His production is precise but the inspiration behind his records is brilliantly bizarre. His upcoming white label, Objekt #4, draws on memories from nights in Berlin’s Basement Q with friend and collaborator Call Super. A club which Objekt describes as “disorientating and beautiful”, full to the rafters with aging ravers and wide eyed smiles. Yet nobody else has ever heard of or mentioned this infamous nightspot. His first release since 2014 pays homage to a place which may never have existed.
The tracks themselves, for what it’s worth, have found their way into the hands of Ben Ufo and Pearson Sound, who have each found room for Objekt’s Basement Q tribute track in recent sets. It goes without saying that Needle and Thread, the record’s A-side, will leave a lasting impression once it’s finally unleashed.
In recent years many have conquered Cosmic Ballroom’s main room, yet none will have offered the same soundscape exploration that Objekt does. For all the complexity of Objekt’s methods and manners, Friday will quite simply be an interesting man playing exceptional music.