Sat Sept 21
A pan-pot is a simple, workaday knob, given to side-to-side flip-flopping and not much else. Pan-Pot, on the other hand, are a brilliantly multidimensional Berlin duo currently twisting house and techno fans into rapturous fits. In just a few short years, Pan-Pot -the duo comprised of Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix-have become a central presence in electronic dance music's most advanced sectors. Their rise parallels that of their home label mobilee, coming at a time when established categories are breaking down and accepted notions of "minimal" (please) are giving way to an unprecedented degree of dynamism on demanding dancefloors. Another mobilee signee, Marco Resmann, was a founding member of the group, but has since left to concentrate on his solo work. Pan-Pot's vinyl debut came in May 2005 with the Popy & Caste EP (mobilee002), featuring two cuts bursting with gritty, dirty funk, as though they'd scraped all the gunk from beneath the knobs of their gear, packed it into a ball and sent it rolling across the nightclub. Since then, in addition to their contribution to the Extra EP (mobilee005 plus), backing Daniel Stefanik's anthemic banger "The Bells," they've released three more EPs on mobilee (Obscenity, mobilee005; Black Lodge, mobilee012; and What Is What, mobilee023) and two on Einmaleins Musik. Their kinetic, undulating grooves have proved particularly tempting to other producers-Jesse Rose, Lee Van Dowski, Agnès, Barem and Camea have all taken (pot)shots at reworking the group's tunes-and their own remixing skills are increasingly in demand: Pan-Pot have put their immediately recognizable spin on tracks by Misc., Anja Schneider & Sebo K, Tim Xavier, Dapayk Solo, Sweet 'n Candy, and Damián Schwartz, among others. The release of their debut album marks yet another milestone for the group. Appropriately titled Pan-O-Rama, the record-which has the honor of being the first artist album released on mobilee-offers a 360-degree tour of techno at its most twisted, balancing ominous atmospherics with an unusual lightness of touch, and running classic machine music through silicon's digital wringer. They may name themselves after a piece of gear, but Pan-Pot's music is ultimately about moving bodies, not knobs. Both live and as DJs, Pan-Pot deliver on that promise with sets that rope together crisply minimal, coolly restrained techno and hot and heavy house. Anyone who's ever played with an analog synthesizer knows that all those pots and dials are there to be touched; Pan-Pot reaches out and touches right back-with a love slap from the heart of the Berlin underground.