Sweet Nothings


Niklas Worgt and Eva Padberg aka Dapayk & Padberg join the Stil vor Talent family for their third full-length effort. Similar to their previous LP oeuvre, as well as Dapayk's solo work, one is simply astonished by the diversity, intertextuality, coherence and playfulness of the end result, something that must be attributed to the experienced duo's wide-ranging set of influences. Work on the LP stretched across several continents. From the beach on Bali, via Miami, Los Angeles, Berlin and a ski chalet in the Austrian Alps, stunning and remote locations were to be the spectacular backdrop for Dapayk & Padberg's creative process. Thus, one encounters soft and harsh sound textures, dark and light images, sonic euphoria and sadness as well as lyrics of love and loss throughout the tour de force that is Sweet Nothings. Things kick off with the trippy "Too Lazy," a brooding afterhours number, which is equal parts paranoid and mesmerizing as a wonky bass vibrates under dubbed-out pads, eerie synths and vocal whispers. Next, "Play" immediately delivers the antidote, reversing the evening's proceedings back to the peak-time. On the title track, Dapayk & Padberg's sound takes another turn, presenting us with a deep but forceful groover, whose distorted high-hats and trancey synth-stabs create a vibe both euphoric and weirdly subdued. The lyrics, moreover, emphasize the duality at the core of the album. "Fluffy Clouds" does quite the opposite to what its title suggests -- rather than being a soft little piece, we are treated to big-room techno fodder à la Berghain. A skeletal framework of heavy kicks, dark pads, white noise and dense metallics works relentlessly underneath a cold spoken word. Machine funk par excellence. "Endless Game" leaves the four-by-four rhythm behind in favor of a broken beat structure. A shuddering bass and affectless vocal reminds of The Knife's wonderfully weird moments. "The Sun Came Up" rounds off the mechanical triplet with a pumping beat and robotic vocals, while a progressive synth lead helps along the track's love lyrics, turning this into a truly stunning moment at the album's heart. With the sharp glockenspiel and old-school hip-hop beat of "Razorskit," Dapayk & Padberg crafted a short interlude to cleanse the palate, before the gear is shifted once more on "Berlin Summer Nights." Anthem alert: classic rave sounds of epic proportions glide through an arrangement of bouncy beats, crisp percussive work and hopeful vocals until a powerful breakdown delivers the hands-in-the-air moment. Continuing seamlessly, the vocals on "Take These Scissors" nod to Karin Dreijer Andersson, which is further underpinned by the playful and airy arrangement of weird sounds. "Backyard" enchants thanks to mystical lyrics sung over a deep quasi-dubstep structure. "Continental Drift" is similarly confident as Padberg's sexy vocals compliment a slow, fat beat and progressive pads. "Driveby Beauty" offers a final surprise by speeding things up once more: ambient soundscapes float over organic beats, while classic vocal house motifs are left to work their magic effortlessly. All that is left once the last notes play out, is an intense longing for more.