Leaning Over Backwards


Tobias Freund's debut album for Ostgut Ton also serves as the album introduction to his Tobias. moniker, giving a fascinating and profound insight into his special world of music and sound science. Being a part of the music business since 1980, you could easily fill books with his works and creations. Formerly based in Frankfurt am Main and now happily living in Berlin, Tobias. started his quest in sound as a synth avant-gardist with a Korg MS20, worked a day job as a studio engineer (i.a. Milli Vanilli and today for Aerea Negrot, Nina Kraviz and Heartthrob, amongst others), remixed, released as Pink Elln and with projects such as Sieg Über Die Sonne and NSI (with Max Loderbauer) and runs his own label Non Standard Productions. On this album, Tobias. renounces the ubiquitous dictate of computer synchronization. Degraded to a plain recording device, the computer makes way for the classic drum machines Roland TR 808 and a Korg Mini Pops. Known for having a life of their own, their unpredictability wins over standardized convenience. Tobias.' sound gets recompensed with dynamics and an agility that doesn't lack attention to detail, accuracy and thoughtfulness. Rooted in jam sessions with just beats and efx units, the moods and music on Leaning Over Backwards range from unswerving club tracks to occasional ambient or drone-like atmospheres or meet up as hybrids. Take "The Key," for instance -- produced in Santiago by Tobias. and his long-standing colleague Uwe Schmidt (Atom TM), you can hear splintered beats and gloomy pads expanding into Drexciyan depths. It all comes full circle with "Now I Know." Equally fantastic and fey, Tobias. makes use of Aerea Negrot's (Hercules & Love Affair) remarkable voice, turning the closing track into a longing piece of Blade Runner pop music. Leaning Over Backwards bewitches with its nonconformity and almost frightening idiosyncrasy. Tobias. creates a style of techno that is far away from steamroller kick drums and the rules of functionalism -- this is techno as a perpetual motion machine.