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Monika Kruse
PANORAMA
(TERMINAL)

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Kruse, who is part of a new wave of up-and-coming female DJs, recently came to the attention to the US house-music mainstream through the inclusion of her rapturous techno piece "Wir tanzen in der Nacht" on the superb new CD Live with Jonathan Peters (Strictly Rhythm). On Panorama, a disc written in collaboration with Patrick "Voodooamt" Lindsey, she maintains the style of "Wir tanzen" a sweet, romantic take on techno in which the plush throb of deep house is paired with the sonic reveries of ambient and some dreamy synthesizer riffs and melodies redolent of Giorgio Moroder (and two decades of Italian disco).

Kruse mixes her proportions. In "Route 27" and "Saw-Rise," her music stomps and sings equally; in "Snackers" and "USS Nostromo," she emphasizes the beat in dry electronic affairs that bring to mind classic space disco. And in "Ground Zero" and "Strigrise," she injects melody into the kind of lithe and forceful rhythms favored by NYC DJs Erick Morillo and Junior Vasquez. The power of her rhythms derives from the transparency of her textures, a transparency that allows the music to be played at high volumes without becoming overbearing. Her house jams thus build up enormous pressure. Quick-cutting from one rhythm to another, Kruse gives the pressure in her music no way to escape no choice but to jump when she jumps, yelp when she yelps. Eventually the ferocity dissipates; the tracks "Beatsticks" and "Wavez" are characterized by breezy percussion and relaxed acid-house vocals. Kruse also has a soul-ballad mode: in "Floating" she drops the rhythm entirely and shades the atmospheric melodies plaintively without compromising their lushness.

BY MICHAEL FREEDBERG

Issue Date: June 20 - 27, 2002
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