Album Review

DJ Hell – “Zukunftsmusik” – [International Deejay Gigolo Records]

Naysayer   7/3/2018   A Library, CD

DJ Hell (Heimut Josef Geier) is a prolific DJ, having been working the turntables since the late 1970’s and putting out dance music on his own notorious International Deejay Gigolo Records label. “Zukunftsmusik” is his first release since 2011 and what a pleasure it is to hear him at it. Don’t expect a continuation of fast paced house and other styles to make you sweat the night away. Though the album translates into “music of the future”, it actually feels more like a meditation on the past, touching base and paying homage to influences and styles DJ Hell enjoyed. There’s a lot of !970’s German electronic references which he has said in interviews were a big influence on him. There are also nods to Berlin era Bowie, Gary Newman, especially “Cars”, Kraftwerk via Autobahn and Wes Craven film soundtracks. And then there’s the sex. Not so much talked about in graphic detail but hinted at, referenced, felt in the beats, displayed in the art cards that come with the CD: the famous (and always confusing) Hanky Code for cruising men, leather culture and the world of Tom of Finland, the ultimate 1970’s/80’s gay leather fetish fantasy. Some of DJ Hell’s earlier mixes, like BBC Essential Mix 2005, sounds like the soundtrack to a gay leather sex club. But “Zukunftsmusik” is a much slower pace, throughout. Lots of vocals, medium paced beats, much feeling very 1980s. “Car, Car, Car” will be a crowd pleaser and should be played with Newman’s “Cars”. Lots of computer generated voices. There’s even an exorcism or sexual fetish, or both (“High Priests of Hell”). This is an interestingly provocative, revealing and honest work coming from a person who is known to make the dance floor move. Enjoy this more contemplative side of DJ Hell.

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