On the Radar: Der Dritte Raum – Polarised Echoes

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Der Dritte Raum drop by Harthouse Records with their latest EP, Polarised Echoes. The Waveform Transmitter’s Simon Huxtable enjoys a session from the electronic duo.

We’ve all been there, deep in music finding mode, when up pops an absolute belter that you cannot stop listening to, well, that happen to me today and it was a group I’ve not heard from in a long long time. Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the 90s will recall a certain North Western messiah-like figure who had great success with a CD that featured this particular groups biggest track, Hale Bopp.

But far from being one-hit wonders, Der Dritte Raum (or The Third Room in English) are considered one of Germany’s most innovative live acts, still playing their unique brand of dance music some 25-odd years later.

The story of how Andreas Krüger & Ralf Uhrlandt helped take the revolutionary sound of Frankfurt and made it a global experience will have to wait for another day. Suffice as to say, their success and the success of German institution Harthouse (set up by a young Sven Vath and others) and indeed the early German Techno/Trance scene, is inextricably linked.

As with my own label, where I had prog royalty write the debut release, here Harthouse dip into their magic bag of artists and pull out three enormous tracks from one of the most well-respected duos in dance. Merging Techno, Trance, Electro and House all into a melting pot of distinctive sounds has had generations of ravers on their knees begging for more, and after hearing this EP it’s very clear why.

First up is Polarised Echoes which is classic D3R. A pumping groove of intricate percussion sit on top rounded kicks and some spacey synth FX which ebb and flow over the opening 32 bars. The bassline is simple allowing the percolating arps to grow and take over the movement of the track. It’s not often I listen to a track all the way through when crate digging, but this one had me by the balls for nine and a half minutes!

Effect Memory opens with a kick hat combo and quickly becomes hypnotic thanks to a repeated 303 line and some sweet higher frequency arpeggiation. Deep synth shots sit off to the sides as the groove takes over and pads lift the mood in the breaks. Again a super simple but incredibly well executed bassline does all the damage here. Perfect mid set cooling off vibes.

Finally, Realtime Club can be best described as being pulled along by a fast flowing river as your head occasionally dips under the surface. Pumping and deep, it uses crazy FX and nuanced synths to great effect and serves as a great opening track for those who like it uptempo from the get go.

I, for one, will be hammering these for a good few months even after they finally drop in a months time. Absolute dance floor fire, I cannot wait to hear them on a big system!

Der Dritte Raum‘s Polarised Echoes on Harthouse Records is available from all good stockists from 22nd September.

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