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Thursday, Sep 19 2013 | 21:31
Image: 1582499 MUSCLE TUFF is THE GYM's label compilation. Each artist took a different approach to create mind blowing workout music. This compilation proves that GYM aficionados can be melancholic and deeply existentialistic, meditating on the world's serious issues, while gently pumping iron.
THE GYM emerged out of an old circle of friends, throwing parties and DJing together, while slowly building their individual careers. It became a record label when co-owners Brandt Brauer Frick made their first steps in the music scene. Other GYM members include film & video producers, club curators and bodybuilders.
MUSCLE TUFF is a snapshot of the contributors’ current state of mind. Eight of nine tracks have been produced exclusively for this compilation.
Berlin-based singer and producer Josa Peit opens with "Waste", a hypnotic soul sketch, her vocals beautifully fragile and intense, with analogue synths creating sonic Alice In Wonderland moments.
Brandt Brauer Frick play a fast and raw Techno track. One feels like working out in the jungle, or participating in a ritual worship of an archaic goddess. This time, they used only synths, as Juno-106, SH-101 or Nord Drums, and left piano and other acoustic instruments aside, contradicting their signature sound.
Offenbach-based Bodo Elsel delivers a radical old school approach, a bone dry one-take house miniature, crooning "I Can't Reset My Mind" in his unimitable sloppy style, over cascades of dry 707, 808 and SP12 beats and claps.
Copenhagen producer and long-time collaborator James Braun teams up with Dan M for "People Move", a slow burner of the kind that are truly hard to find and that take you from a low level into haunting ecstasy.
Next up is Berlin's 20 year-old house, bass and hiphop prodigy Max Graef, His exceptional musical skills came to the labels attention during an in-store gig at the legendary OYE RECORDS in Berlin. He is a unique talent and musically wise beyond his years. Enjoy “Nr 3” and brace yourself for his upcoming “Get Big Fast” EP on THE GYM.
For those who know THE GYM's former releases, it's evident that Dollkraut can't miss. The Dutch analogue sound wizard keeps on fascinating us with his golden touch for pop moments. "Catch My Soul" is an old pearl and one of Dollkraut's most housy tracks. As it has never been released on vinyl and has proven to be a long time GYM mover it had to be on MUSCLE TUFF.
THE GYM's brotherhood with Tartelet Records keeps on flourishing on Tartelet's label head Muff Deep's contribution: "Let's Go To The Gym"! It's hot & sweaty and it gets you. It sounds like a drunken Theo Parrish in a Honda, caught in a thunderstorm on his way to THE GYM, trying to work the MPC. Kind of.
One of the clubbiest tracks on the album is supplied by Freude am Tanzen and BPitch boy Douglas Greed, whose straight and no-bullshit techno track "Raw And Order" leads from agitating percussion into synth madness, GYM music at its purest. On its finishing track, MUSCLE TUFF opens up into the glamorous new wave disco world of the mysterious Frenchman Bernard Crochet. He is an almost entirely unknown face to the
electronic music scene, except for his 2012 debut with Dollkraut. We know nothing about him, and it's hard to situate him in any context in 2013. One thing is certain, he has access to some crazy rare vintage gear and he's not afraid of big emotions!

A1. Josa Peit - Waste
A2. Brandt Brauer Frick - Two In A Bush
A3. Bodo Elsel - Reset My Mind
B1. James Braun & Dan M - People Move
B2. Max Graef - Nr 3
C1. Dollkraut - Catch My Soul
C2. Muff Deep - Let's Go To The Gym
D1. Douglas Greed - Raw & Order
D2. Bernard Crochet - Dawn Raid On The Box Available from 30.08.2013
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