Recondite, meaning ‘little known, or abstruse’ is the alias of Lorenz Brunner- a German DJ who is a prolific producer of a brand of techno that is distinctly his own. Brunner states that his work is inspired by rural Lower Bavarian landscapes. Visit his Instagram and you’ll discover his affinity with natural life such as trees, flowers and leaves, all of which are photographed evocatively and often ominously in black and white, whilst still capturing their simplistic beauty. Tracks are named after geographical features, cities, mythological figures, religious figures, plants, Latin species names and all manner of other things. It’s impossible to describe his music in simplistic terms. His work is just… recondite, and that’s the way we like it.
I’ve had to ignore certain tracks and select only a few to elaborate on here. These include Murphy’s Law, Solan, Osa and Nock, all of which share a devastatingly unique, almost visionary nuance. I hope to visit them soon. Anyway, first things first- on to the past. I have selected three hard hitters which do not share the more emotional, ambient qualities of the aforementioned tracks.
Caldera is one of his finest achievements. I remember it came on at WHP, little blue lights flickering everywhere; the place turned into a cave. I love it when that happens, what more can you ask for? This eerie little track thumps tribally as if it’s trying to freak you out and draw out your sanity from your brain, then with a distressed beat on top, it builds up speed then the whole track turns on a sixpence, becoming something completely different altogether (oh it’s like that then is it?). I couldn’t describe the sounds that follow, but I would say it’s an aesthetic masterpiece and the track becomes something very enticing and mystical…
Then a few years later he produced Serak from the Think Twice EP. This was an extremely big track for me. It was the first Recondite track I ever heard. This track can be characterized by the nastiness of its beat. Don’t come here if it’s forgiveness you’re after.
I remember wandering through the streets of Vilnius at 4 AM, completely lost, alone, talking to myself like a madman. I had no idea how to get to where I was living, I only recognised certain places, which I visited over and over again in the hope of finding my way back. The shallow and winding Neris by my side, beautiful Lithuanians skulking about in the dark and shadows of Catholic architecture looming from all directions. Needless to say I punctuated the experience by listening to this track over and over and over…
Serak is Recondite other-worldliness at its finest.
As we follow any great artist, at some point it gets to a stage where you think they couldn’t possibly produce anything better and the best is almost certainly behind them. And usually you’re right. But we’re dealing with a freak here- you think he’s made his best track, then over and over again he puts something out there that blows your socks off in a completely different way, to the point where eventually you seriously have to consider whether it’s worth putting socks on in the first place. The amount of tracks that Recondite has produced in such a short space of time is beyond extraordinary.
So Phalanx. One thing’s for sure – you’ve never heard a track anything like this before. When it got released I was leaping about all over Selly like a jackal, just thinking ‘he’s not has he?’ This represents the epitome of Recondite’s mastery of conceptualism. Recondite takes simple concepts and energizes, sharpens, solemnifies, mystifies, and lights them up. I would suggest that Phalanx is the soundtrack to an ancient phalanx of hoplites sliding mechanically into battle. But that’s just me. I’m sure you’ve generated your own ideas. The beauty of any great artist in any form is that your connection with their content is in no way dictated to you by them, you make it yourself within the confines of an electronically stimulated mind. And with shit like this, you can’t fail to make a masterpiece of it. I saw Mind Against play this in Leeds, with my loyal techno raving companion, after a few other friends abandoned us for the jungle hut in search of funkier beats. They betrayed me that night, and more tragically, they betrayed themselves.
I remember when I was a student, lying in bed in my ground floor bedroom by the window at about nine in the morning clinging desperately to the quilt and not being able to sleep. So like the little psychonaut I was I just whacked on this mix and let it take the reins of my wayward brain. Being able to commit myself so entirely to a sound was a tremendously liberating experience and I gained access to a new bewildering state of mind. Reccy doesn’t put mixes on very often, so you have to appreciate them when they come. Stick this mix on, go for a walk through the fields, feel the chilled February breeze on your face and watch the brown silhouettes of leafless trees as they undulate before a backdrop of unshakable winter sky.