SONUS DISCIS
Termiten - Nordhorn EP

Label: Linear - Linear 03
Format: Vinyl, 12"
Country: Germany
Released: 06 Nov 2002
Style: Downtempo, Minimal, Tech House

Termiten - Nordhorn

Discogs

Signed in the year 2002 by Ricardo Villalobos for the Linear record label, unknown mostly due to the fact that Ricardo has only used this moniker once and seeing as, according to Discogs, there are only 3 releases on this label, it can hardly be considered a cult classic or a hit from the Chilean.

Even though only once in his discography can Ricardo Villalobos be seen using this alter-ego, it is definitely one of his benchmark releases, adopting three very distinctive styles of approach to each track. Nordhorn, the title bearer of the EP (B1) is highly minimalistic in nature and emotional, much like "Dexter" released later on the "Alcachofa" album (Playhouse, 2003), though it is significantly more housier, similar in that matter to "808 The Bassqueen". The german influence is abundant, you can almost place yourself in the rural side of eastern Germany at dusk while listening to this track and, seeing as its name is actually a reference to the town of Nordhorn, Germany, the links become rather obvious, especially due to its romantic feel.

Even from this early production Ricardo's signature sound can easily be distinguished: the claps that always hit that sweet spot, the cleanliness in sound that he's become a legend for, the cohesiveness and "straight to the point" attitude. He seamlessly turns the melody into a bassline later on into the track, which makes for a fresh transition to the ending.

The A side is more in tune with later productions, less minimalistic, quirky and twisted, filled with tension and drama, though never hitting that breaking point that we've seen him do on so many other occasions ("Frank Mueller Melodram", Perlon 1999). It bears minor similarities with the early Detroit movement, that distinctive desolate feeling that leaves you wishing you knew what happens next - a question mark remains, listening to the monologue that accompanies the track, you can't help but wonder: Why did the man love his wife?

The EP is rounded off rather humorously by Ricardo with "Frank & Hennes", a truly unique track, both in his discography and for the entire electronic musical culture as a whole. The track starts off on a happy note in an almost reggae-dub fashion, early 80's "Yellowman" style, and continues as such. You half expect the albino Jamaican artist to start singing halfway through the song but, instead, Ricardo unleashes a guitar solo. Pink Floyds "Fearless" is the unwilling victim of Ricardos sampler and he rather does the British rock group justice with his take on their 1971 record. He even goes as far as to thank two of the bands members, David Gilmour and Roger Waters, affectionately naming them his "termitenhill" along with two other people: Lau & Tahernia, which I have to admit, am clueless as to who they are.

In conclusion, this EP is unique both in the nature of the production and diversity of the tracks, even by Villalobos's standards. Released in 2002 and unlikely to be found at any major distribution shops on the internet and, as of July 13 2014, the record can be found on Discogs at the starting price of 30 euros.