Up-and-coming Cologne-based producer Tim Engelhardt's debut full-length on Poker Flat finds the artist easing into LP mode with confidence, delivering an engaging set of warm, melodic house tunes full of subtle flourishes and well-planned moments.
Although certainly danceable, Moments of Truth most richly rewards a focused attention. It's an album of expertly constructed arrangements, where a rhythmic element you thought was just a piece of background percussion is suddenly spotlighted out of nowhere for a well-earned, late-track revelation. Engelhardt also excels at meticulously drawn-out openings, adding the kick almost as an afterthought, but in exactly the right place. The title track is the best example of this — its two-and-a-half-minute build accented along the way by deft delay effects — but the jazzy opening of album highlight "The Myths of You" features great groove-building as well. Elsewhere, Engelhardt works competently in the vein of hypnotic glitch-techno à la the Field ("Beyond Time"), and gets almost cinematic on the driving guitar and piano of "When The Distance Disappears."
There are some lesser tracks (those that didn't make it onto the shorter vinyl version being a fairly good guide), but they support and bolster the superior cuts in a way that benefits the album as a whole, making the longer digital release the more rewarding (if not the tightest) of the two options here. (Poker Flat)