Music Review | posted 27.05.2016
Max Graef & Glenn Astro
The Yard Work Simulator
Ninja Tune, 2016
Text Tim Caspar Boehme , Translation Julia Frohn
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Editorial
Cover Max Graef & Glenn Astro - The Yard Work Simulator

Two perfectionists have teamed up for a club-worthy concept record in arduous manual work. The Berlin-based producers Max Graef and Glenn Astro – both involved with the label Money $ex Records – love old records of different origins. Their joint album debut, »The Yard Work Simulator«, confirms this impression only too well. Take the funkiness of a track like »Flat Peter«, for example, and it’s hard to believe that the individual components weren’t just sampled from their record collection. And still: Max Graef and Glenn Astro have declared to have recorded most of the sounds and instrumentals for the record themselves. The ideas for the individual tracks came first, and then the duo translated them into music, which makes the result even more pleasing, considering that their approach based on solid ingredients like house, funk and hip hop does not see itself as a nostalgic-magical attempt to reanimate times long past. Instead, they know how to turn their preferences into affectionately rumbling grooves, which barely pass as easy movement patterns for the dancefloor. This ‘barely’ is probably the crucial aspect of their music: its blurriness, edges and pitfalls are an even stronger foundation for borderless euphoria. It’s freedom in the confusion, if you like.

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