By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
In addition to having a very funny dancing style, the Germans also have a funny way with house music. Unlike the big and booming irrational exuberance of most American house tracks, the Germans like it little. There's no screaming diva on the verge of tidal orgasms; an itsy uh always suffices.
Dub Taylor's second full-length of 2001 is a standard German minimal house record: no great revelations, no earth-shattering epiphanies. It's good but never surprising. A heartbeat thud supplies the drive train for all 10 tracks: It hits four clonelike times to the measure -- thud-thud-thud-thud -- and seldom, if ever, wavers. Toss in a snare, a hi-hat and some sort of warble and you've got the recipe for Detect -- and most minimal German house, a subgenre that's thriving right now because of both its simplicity and its dublike depth.
The uninitiated and Ritalin-addled will hate Detect's plodding deliberateness, its tedium. That thump will wear thin after a few tracks. But the autobahn that is Dub Taylor (a pseudonym for one Alex Kruger) makes no apologies for his limited scope. He seems to prefer that the vista remain consistent on the x and y planes, worrying more about the z plane above and below. And what a depth it is: The bass on Detect is nearly subharmonic, and the sounds that lie buried beneath the surface create more texture that you'll initially perceive. But the record takes a lot patience -- even compared with other minimal-house records -- and whether the ultimate payoff is worth the investment is debatable.