Zenker Brothers

Hidden Shelter

Ilian Tape • 2022

Marco and Dario Zenker have been part of the German techno scene for so long you really have to wonder. Even 15 years after founding the label Illian Tape, the two still manage to remain part of the underground somehow, an insider tip against all the odds. No small part of this is due to their, let’s say it bluntly, radical way of dealing with techno – and here above all with its breaky varieties. The Zenker Brothers are not British steppy, not electro, neither Detroit nor European, and they know how to wrap themselves around Berlin dub techno ancestors especially on their new disc »Hidden Shelter«. No, they have a style of their own, which seems so passionately familiar, but under the magnifying glass (fortunately!) never delivers on what is supposedly promised. »Focus On Positivity«, for example, is such a comical number in the best sense of the word: hyperactive and swingy, it would nevertheless have fitted into the DIAL roster in the noughties as well. Despite many details, the essence is classically minimal. Until the dub areas come in. This variety is what makes it so appealing: just under six minutes that can seem both shorter and longer. The Zenker Brothers play with their own perception of time and crank the hands of the clock back and forth. »Look Precisely«, on the other hand, is seemingly clearer, stricter: a fat big room kick that pushes. But then you notice that the pads sound like percussion (or vice versa) and that the room is charged with tension; finally, you receive the relieving groove vibes.