Artist: Ripperton
Title: Zugunruhe
Label: Connaisseur Superieur
By: shawndavid | 14 January 2008
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Daniel Stefanik Mix

Ripperton "Zugunruhe"

Out Now on Connaisseur Superieur

With remixes for Laurent Garnier, Xela Saitta, and Oliver Lieb, among others, Ripperton is one of Switzerland’s most prized electronic producers. This release includes Ripperton’s original techno version of Zugunruhe as well as a multi-movement rework by German producer Daniel Stefanik.

Ripperton’s original opens up with simple, alternating toms; an offbeat closed high hat substitute provides the compliment. A straight kick soon enters the fray with a lightly reverbed, metallic sample crescendo and faint cowbell pattern hot on its heels. At the one-minute mark, a riff reminiscent of that produced from the lower octaves of a Wurlitzer organ provides the underbelly of Ripperton’s latest techno offering. This amalgamation gently drifts; an offbeat floor tom joins on “3 and 4 and.” The kick drops off. The reverb on the metallic bits gets progressively wetter as a more modern, soft blip sample approaches from the distance, bouncing from the center, to the right, then over to the left. As the blip reaches its peak level, Ripperton soaks the percussive samples with verb. He drops a subtle, bouncing bass line into the equation and Zugunruhe slowly lifts off. The song carries on for a few phrases until a bell pattern, evocative of someone playing “tuned” wine glasses with a butter knife, takes center stage. The percussion and bells exit. Soft pads take over, reverses round out the tail ends of a few. Another drop off occurs to set up the final apex. This closing movement trudges forward, progressively adding most of the previous elements in an attempt to finish off the piece with flair.

The original Zugunruhe never quite does it for me; it fails to gather enough steam to get my heart or my feet involved. This piece is at home during the opening hour of a chill set at a martini bar or other small venue; one would be hard pressed to successfully drop this anywhere with high ceilings or vast acres of dance floor. The organ riff and bell pattern have potential, but Ripperton simply does not manage to flesh this track out with much soul.

Next up is Daniel Stefanik’s mix. This variant begins immediately with a livelier, breakbeat backdrop. Tonal kicks comprise the lower ranges with various samples filling out the atmosphere. Stefanik sprinkles in a small dose of the pads from the original and then adds a new, crunchy panning pattern akin to the bouncing antagonist from 80’s video game Qix. This whole process seems to take quite some time to go a very short distance. At 3:45, Stefanik’s adaptation gradually takes on a new shape. Syncopated organ riffs nudge the piece forward with a much more artsy feel. Around 6:50, the beat exits entirely, leaving only the atmospheric elements and organ. Strings slowly trickle in as all else drops off. Birds begin to call from every direction, thrusting the listener into a misty, morning jungle. Well-layered chirps and chatters escort this track to a soothing, percussion-free close.

Stefanik’s interpretation seems to take some time before each progression. However, the culmination of the organ from around four minutes to the tripped out, three-minute finale - a veritable immersion in a dreamy, tropical rainforest - makes the voyage worthwhile. This departure is perfect for sipping water and sucking on orange wedges in a candle-lit chill out room. Lay your head back, close your eyes and let Daniel Stefanik’s translation take you on a faraway journey.

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