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Denzel & Huhn - Paraport

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Artist: Denzel & Huhn

Album: Paraport

Label: City Centre Offices

Review date: Mar. 19, 2007

A late iteration of the so-called Teutonic Boom, whose bands largely blipped off music magazines shortly after being corralled under the awkward moniker, the third Denzel & Huhn album, Paraport, somehow manages to be a lovely fulfillment of that post-rock subgenre's promise. Tarwater's noir shadings fill in To Rococo Rot's crisp contours and even Oval's scuffed data dots this dusty expanse. Of course both Bertram Denzel and Erik Huhn were involved early on with members of the first two bands and certainly tuned into Markus Popp's alien frequencies. But the duo is not exactly trawling through their peers' terrain.

Paraport's misty nocturnes swirl over gravel, sleepily crunched underfoot. The cold tranquility of its amorphous movements is always colored in the grainy pointillé of hazy pixels. Thick and curdled bass blob in an engulfing concrete blackness. Or, rather, a moth-eaten tissue of decaying sound. Arrhythmic pulses punch through the brittle tones and bandy the VU needle like a broken heartbeat. Each song is like a crumpled scrap of paper, found by accident, whose wrinkles and stains, unwrapped, become part of the text, pushing it into a frieze-like corporeality.

Perhaps a more salient image might be of an unattended turntable, softly purring with the pops and hiss of warped vinyl, sometimes stuck on crackling lock-groove. "Kleiner Bruder" opens with wine glass treble as a ribbon of some sampled orchestra swell flits into view and disappears. A guitar is plucked and its trembling strings are shadowed by gurgling glitch. "Ndr" uses the signature springy drip of tube-amps (another nod to vintage audio gear) as a spectral motiv to accompany disintegrating ripples of room tone. Closer "Offane" returns to the fuzzy stylus, here beating gently against the label's edge, as a shimmering silvery light hardens, cracks and dissolves in a perpetual cycle. Numbing yet numinous, Paraport is a most serene method of transport.

By Bernardo Rondeau

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