Berlin-based, Dutch-born Steffi possesses near-boundless prowess. As a DJ, she’s proved her effortless mastery of disco, house, electro, and techno; as helm of labels Klakson and Dolly, she’s long maintained her status as tastemaker; as a producer, she has graced us with three solo LPs and numerous 12”s. Dark Entries is now honored to unveil the debut of her project Crushed Soul, a moniker she had used only once in 2013 for an Ostgut Ton compilation track. The mutual esteem of Steffi and DE has been previously fruitful, with Steffi providing a remix for Cute Heels’ 2016 EP on DE, but this is their first full-length collaboration.
The Family of Waves EP represents both familiar and novel pastures for Steffi. While her love of electro and classic Detroit techno have been oft-evident, here we witness the darker shades of new wave and industrial creep to the forefront. This turn for the twisted feels not just natural, but predestined, an inevitable succumbing to morbid forces. But Steffi also views Family as “a playful association…a mix of my past and new modern waves”. There is a kernel of whimsy, even joy, lurking within the record’s temporal jumblings. The A-side opens with “Gravitational Field”, which juxtaposes its gnarled bassline with unearthly percussives and a recurrent resonant gong. The wild sonic palette speaks Steffi’s singular voice. “Scalar Property” continues the paranoid propulsion with an unhealthy dose of what can only be described as Metroid-funk, its staccato bass jabs interlaced with ghastly vocal pads. The B-side contains a diptych of slower tracks that juggle reference points both retro and futurist. In “Family of Waves”, a churning EBM-esque bassline battles acerbic yelps. On this track, the collision of past and present is most pronounced, as if A Split Second were covering Mike Parker. “Diffusion of Heat” closes the EP with what feels like a perfect synthesis of Steffi’s musical passions: funky, warbling chord stabs; intricate rhythmic diversions; the ecstasy of repetition. Here, disco, new wave, and techno marry harmoniously, if only to inform us of the disharmony of our present.
All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The sleeve and accompanying postcard were designed by Eloise Leigh using video art stills by Goldenliustra.