Chris Liebing / Various Techno Division Vol. 4

Along with Richie Hawtin and an increasing number of other forward-thinking techno DJs, Germany’s Chris Liebing is all for taking the concept of mixing beyond the old school formula of the ones-and-twos. The list of gear used on this comp includes two Apple laptops, FinalScratch and Ableton-Live software, the sum of which further blurs the line between playing and making music. Unless you really know either the records or the technology used in this two-disc set, it’s hard to tell what’s pre-recorded and what’s being effected out of them in real-time — and that is part of the fun. The one thing that is discernible is Liebing’s programming. He’s split the compilation into two discs: the more abstract, electro-friendly "Red” one and the dirty, beat-assaulting "Blue” one. Liebing takes liberties to filter, stretch, over-sample and re-synthesise the sounds equally on both, but he kicks the dance floor with stronger results when he’s in the blue. Among the highlights is an update of Nitzer Ebb’s 1988 proto-techno classic, "Murderous,” which sounds almost pop when sandwiched between the aural spasms of Mauro Picotto’s "Taotek” and oceanic throb of Liebing’s own "Disorder and Chaos.” (U60311)