Album of the Week: Marcel Dettmann – Selectors003

Marcel Dettmann is a DJ that sets trends rather than panders to them and recently he’s returned to his roots, the eighties era of synth wave and EBM where it all started for a young Marcel Dettmann. The German’s DJ career began buying and selling records in his hometown the former GDR, where record stores had been thin on the ground and lacked that critical edge that the bigger cities like Berlin had. Dettmann catered to a post punk industrial kind of electronic sound with the likes of Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb and sold these records to other music obsessives in his hometown. It wouldn’t take long before word got out about his exceptional ear for music and would eventually set him off on a career in DJing. 

A move to Berlin followed with a job at Ostgut (Berghain’s predecessor) waiting in the wings and established a career that would go from strength to strength. A resident DJ in Europe’s very first clubbing institution, a critically acclaimed producer and a world class DJ, Marcel Dettmann is a household name today, and his most commonly known for a sound of Techno, that combines the finesse of the studio with a primal urgency on the dance floor.

The EBM from his youth would refrain from making a significant appearance in his sets again, with just the odd tip of the hat to  the genre where it all started for him, until most recently. In recent sets, including his appearance at Jæger, Dettmann could be found scouring the back end of his record collection, for edits of some of those very rare cuts that inspired him as a teen. His sets today are dominated by synth wave, EBM and industrial post-punk gems from a time before mega stardom, and in latest edition of Dekmantel’s Selectors series, he puts it on the record for the first time. 

Featuring Front 242, Cabaret Voltaire and the Force Dimension, Selectors 003 is a Techno DJ digging like Disco DJ towards the back of a collection where those archetypal pieces that document the early life of the genre preside. Dettmann picks from the more obscure corners of the genre and although he might include some known names, he doesn’t pick obvious hits or common denominators. A bevy of stabbing guitars, industrial percussion and synth sequences falling off a cliff traces through these collection of songs in a long thin red line that stretches back to 1980’s. 

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