Martin Stimming – Stimming (Diynamic Music)


One of the lynchpins of Solomun’s DIYnamic Music imprint; the enigmatic Stimming, has released his third full-length album. An avid fan of his first album ‘Reflections’ in 2009, I have kept a keen eye on the young Hamburg producer ever since. My love for his music stems from the uniquely organic way in which he puts together his tracks. As anyone familiar to his sound will know, the crunching grooves he so effortlessly lays down pulse through your body in a way that almost nothing else can, so I was eager to hear this latest offering.

And yet, I couldn’t shake off a slight reservation. Whilst Reflections still reigns as one of my favourite albums, his second album ‘Liquorice’ had explored far darker territory. By no means was it a poor album; aesthetically it was nigh on faultless. Yet it lacked the durability of the first. Conceptually it ticked all the boxes, but it was not the sort of album you could play from start to finish – unless you were prepared to go into a very strange, dark place. With this in mind, I took a deep breath and pressed play.

In short, it’s a masterpiece. You can tell that much from the offset, as we’re sucked into his world with the distant sounds of footsteps strolling along a beach in ‘The Origin’. A gorgeous bassline comes out of nowhere as he makes his presence known, shattering the calm before a solid beat is thrown down. Everything is ever so slightly off-kilter. The abundance of dexterous rhythms provide the perfect backdrop for him to pour his heart out through a plethora of strings, synths and vocoders – a set of tools featured extensively throughout. ‘Third of June’ hypnotises you with otherworldly effects that dance around dreamy synths, before we are introduced to Urzula Amen for the first time as she appears in ‘Ferdinand’. This is perhaps the most traditional contribution to the album, and in truth, her vocals sound a little out of place when Stimming strips away almost all the other elements. Nonetheless, it proves to work when a deep, warm bassline joins her song, harmonising beautifully in an uplifting crescendo.

Cherry Bud’ provides a soulful interlude, with a piano solo heightening the organic element that is so prominent in his work. ‘Die Taube auf dem Dach’ is a return to normality, with uplifting vocals coupled with his signature concoction of heavily filtered synths, utilising automation to great effect. To follow, ‘From One Cell’ sees Urzula Amen make her second appearance – a performance which outdoes her first, simply due to the fact that it is a little less obvious. Stimming reworks her voice, loading his own emotion into the words. ‘Die Mächtigen’ slows things right down with a low-slung backbone, providing an industrial backdrop perfect for a sinister, robotic monologue, voicing the producer’s anger of the financial industry influencing the world’s daily life for the sake of profit – almost in a call to arms. It’s one of the highlights of the album without a doubt, and the space generated by the slower tempo invites you to revel in the intricate textures at Stimming’s fingertips.

Dylan’s Theme’ has an almost theatrical feel, with plucked strings juxtaposed with an aggressive saw tooth bass. This gives way to ‘When I’m Drunk’ and offers an interlude which would seem light hearted were it not so leftfield. ‘Cherry Blossom’ is another one of the more traditionally structured pieces, and is another one of the strongest on the album, with an elegant blend of piano and strings working around a soulful vocal, reinforced with a pulsing bassline. ‘Uberblick’ – the last full track on the album – is again one of the most dance floor friendly tracks, with a driving backdrop playing host to a synth so loaded with emotion that it almost seems to speak to us – a real testimony to Stimming’s attention to detail. As the album comes to close with ‘Feeding Seagulls’, we return once more to that beach where we first begun our journey- joined this time with a melancholy keyboard floating over the gentle sound of waves and birds in the distance. As the keyboard fades out, you can’t help but feel a sense of sadness that the album has come to a close. Stimming has honed in on the sound he’s been developing ever since Reflections, embellishing upon the human elements and seasoning everything with expertly crafted electronic trickery.

The end product is an album years ahead of its time, bursting with emotion and leaving you craving for more. I’ll be hitting repeat on this one for a while.

Released: 3rd June 2013


1.The Origin

2. Third of June

3. Ferdinand feat. Urzula Amen

4. Cherry Bud

5. Die Taube auf dem Dach

6. From One Cell feat. Urzula Amen

7. Die Mächtigen

8. Dylan´s Theme

9. When I´m Drunk

10. Cherry Blossom

11. Uberblick

12. Feeding Seagulls

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