Techno DJ and producer Michael Klein has been consistently putting out solid work for years, a habit that has made other DJs – among them Richie Hawtin, Chris Liebing and Laurent Garnier – look to Klein’s releases as reliable fodder fit for a variety of moods at any given party.
Born in Frankfurt and trained in classical piano as a child, Klein cut his clubbing teeth at the likes of Robert Johnson and Cocoon. He then moved to Berlin where he cultivated his dark and groovy sound, assisted by his studies in sound engineering, and earned a residency at the beloved, now-closed Stattbad. Klein is prolific but versatile, and these qualities come to the fore on his latest release, the Hoisin EP for Second State.
The title track, ‘Hoisin’, is a shapeshifter, switching gears from mesmeric, winding bass and rhythmic bleeps to minor, eerie builds, cheeky drum rolls, and more energizing chords. ‘Bite’ is more urgent, kicked along by impatient percussion and an acidic bass burble. ‘The Signal’ is the EP’s biggest moment, destined to be a highlight of not just Klein’s sets, but others’, too. It has the atmosphere of a ‘90s Bristolian rave, with a whomping stomp, beguiling bass and the odd vocal yelp adding era-specific authenticity. ‘Hollow Night’ demonstrates how deftly he can change moods. Here Klein retreats into something darker and more insular. A kick joined by circular chords creates a claustrophobic but compelling inner world.
Klein is a highly valued member of the Second State family and recently contributed an excellent exclusive track for Amelie Lens’ fabric presents mix. He’s been something of a secret weapon in the techno community for years, but while his music prefers to live in the dark, Klein’s profile is, deservedly, coming into the light.