Ben Klock // Umfang

March 4, 2022

There are few names as synonymous with modern techno as Ben Klock. His sound - lean and muscular, spacious and dominating - has influenced a generation of underground DJs and festival headliners alike. In both his sets and in his productions, Klock hones his balances: a modern, chic austerity blends with hints of old school rave. Classic analog drum sounds are given a potent, 21st century sheen, yet the overall sound feels timeless rather than trend-chasing. Check out “Dawning,” his 2009 collaboration with Marcel Dettmann, which inaugurated the Ostgut Ton label. Its slinky groove and sneaky sound design could slot effortlessly next to any number of more recent tracks, while its dubby atmosphere lends it a luxurious refinement. This aesthetic is on full display at Klockworks, the label he’s run since 2006. The roster is a who’s who: DVS1, Etapp Kyle, Heiko Laux and The Advent are just a handful of the artists featured. Discwoman co-founder Umfang gives a distinctly American spin on classic hard, loopy techno. The Bronx-born, Kansas City raised artist is known for mixing with a daring sense of claustrophobia. Releases on Ninja Tune have explored the possibilities of stripped back, cooly-defiant sound design, and her label Thanks For Enlightening Me showcases the ultra-personal side of electronic music.