A Guy Called Gerald Unofficial Web Page: Article

A Guy Called Gerald recommends Tobias's "Leaning Over Backwards"
Electronic Beats
No. 27
September 2011
Page: 16

A Guy Called Gerald is a producer, DJ, and founding member of 808 State. He is widely known as a pioneer of both jungle and acid house. He currently lives in Berlin.

" ... the atmospheric quality of analogue production"

The Quietus

Some people idolize pop stars. For me, it's the studio technicians who are usually the most interesting people to talk to about sound. I've known tobias., alias Tobias Freund, for a while and he's one of the most accurate technicians I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He's the kind of engineer who can walk into a studio and immediately tell you if your monitors are off in some way or if something's out of phase.

He also has an incredible knack for keeping a track dynamic, even though it's really, really loud - which is why so many producers and electronic musicians have him master their stuff. Because Tobias has been in the game for so long, he understands the importance of working hermetically within a studio environment and what being sealed off from the rest of the world can allow you to create. His studio work is mostly behind the scenes, but he's also engineered bigger bands and DJs. We're talking about a seasoned veteran of sound and production.
The first thing I noticed about Leaning Over Backwards is how incredibly clean it is. The whole thing has been painted with a post-minimal brush, and with incredible precision. At first I had a difficult time finding the common thread between the individual tracks, but after a second listen it all of a sudden became clear how painstakingly arranged everything was. Because lately I've been listening to so much straight-up dance music, it was jarring to hear an album that's so undeniably techno, but at the same time so contemplative - almost brooding, really. For my ears, it comes from the atmospheric quality of the analogue production. From the very beginning, you hear it in the quality of the whisper of the white noise. The sounds are so smooth and un-grainy - you just can't fake them. You know, it's easy to imitate the algorithm of, say, a squelchy bassline, but faking the higher frequencies of analogue synth sweeps is something else entirely. Tobias understands that all too well.

I hear the album as a series of journeys where each rhythmic element slowly makes an appearance and then integrates itself into a larger mechanical skip. The 808 sounds aren't your run of the mill old school kicks and claps, but rather a more tweaked and compressed set of patterns. I know that using older equipment to get a new sound isn't easy, but Leaning Over Backwards sounds at once familiar and refreshing, which is a delicate balance. It's Tobias' superb ear and attention to detail that make the album so easy to listen to - not that the music isn't challenging; it just feels so good. -

[Author: Ostgut Ton]