Features | Awards

The Myths About Lightning Award for Never Releasing Under the Same Name Twice

By P.M. Goerner | 17 December 2012

Mohn: Mohn (Kompakt, 2012)

OK. It may not be quite that extreme, I know, but: Wolfgang Voigt is officially the Roger Moore of the electronic music world. Both parts shape-shifting Saint and imperviously adept Bond, the man just can’t be traced by any means other than following the smoke signals of critical acclaim.

But I guess the chase is more fun than I first realized. This year it took me too long to discover Voigt’s most recent collaboration with frequent cohort and comparable chameleon Jörg Burger, released under the name Mohn, though at least conveniently on Voigt’s stalwart Kompakt label. Allmusic’s Rick Anderson touches vaguely on the surfaces of the record’s romantically dark sensibilities with the phrase “goth ambient,” but the delicate, foggy dub that marks all of Voigt’s similar work as always invites a more sublime invitation than that somewhat adversarial suggestion might warrant. For easy reference relative to some of our other favorite picks this year, Mohn (which is the general word for poppy flower in German, and appropriately, considering the euphoric effects) feels not too distantly akin from Andy Stott’s own ethereal-industrial ballets, though it is, relative to the nature of its producers, much more reserved in its traditional dub techno sensibilities.

There’s a good chance that if you’re familiar with any of Voigt or Burger’s more popular releases, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Undeniably, though, the energy that Burger seems to inject into the Kompakt chief’s blissful introspection makes Mohn a demonstratively vivid collection of subtly idiosyncratic dub techno on par with not only Kompakt’s finest, but even, dare I say, some of the Basic Channel classics as well. Less reliant on pronounced rhythms and more on moody, sequenced synthy bounce, it’s a fantastic addition to each player’s catalog, the Kompakt library, and anyone with a keen ear for the sound they know and love.