f you want to find the secret to Robag Wruhme’s Wuzzelbud KK, you need look no further than the word smug. Gabor Schablizki is a smug producer of electronic music that feels as if any genre is conquerable and that any experiment can be a success. The problem with smugness? Usually he or she is right.
Schablizki flits from style to style on each track here, revealing a subtle ability to traverse the terrain of house and ambient and everything in-between with ease. The album starts with the in-between, in the form of “Hugendubel” which draws in equal measure from electro and IDM, while its follow-up, “Mensur” sounds as if it was taken directly from Villalobos’ Alcachofa. It’s quite a bit more propulsive than its predecessor, adopting the aqueous beat strategy, helping the rhythms toward a more fluid sound.
The fluidness is discarded for the broken-down trip-hop of “Pelagia”. Here the beat is constantly fluttered and redrawn, but somehow held together by the nearly anthemic melodic refrain. Allowing the beat to flounder around it, the refrain is one of the two most memorable themes of the album (“Konnek”’s being the other). The beat is further examined, with vocals, on the pop-based “K.T.B.” which boasts a live-sounding bass as its main cohering force.
The majority of the tracks, however, follow the house template set out by “Mensur”: endlessly changing and fascinating in their varied guises. It’s a relative tour de force of “What To Do When IDM Meets Microhouse” that will no doubt be used for years to come as a template for the maneuver, because Wruhme seems to have no trouble weaving in and out of that genre, picking up the pieces of interest and throwing away the tedium.
But it’s not all boring seminal stuff. The title track, for example, is a booming shuffle joint that samples Ophelia’s outburst in Hamlet to delirious effect as it winds itself throughout the song’s length. And the aforementioned “Pelagia” matches easily with “Konnek” to form a strong ambient excursion at various points.
In effect, then, the record works much like Thomas Fehlmann’s most recent 12”, a signal to the listener that Wruhme can excel in any genre at any time. And that’s where the smugness comes in. Of course, the other problem with smugness is laziness. Check back with this guy in a few years and we’ll see. For now, he's smug with good reason.