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Maurizio

Profile

Berlin-based Maurizio is probably one of the most influential and mysterious electronic music producers of the end of 20th century. Within the Basic Channel structure, he and Mark Ernestus elaborated new sounds based on techno repetitive minimalism, and dub organic pace which still sound revolutionary today and have never been equalled. His M series 12 inches usually feature one track with two slightly different versions on each side. These long tracks hardly evolve but their amazing sound treatment provides an intense hypnotic feeling. A must. --tigersushi.com

Maurizio is the operating name of Moritz Von Oswald, the Berlin-based musician and entrepreneur who owns a half-share in Basic Channel Records and co-produced the label's various releases, a wildly influential series of fuzzy EPs with purposefully low production values recorded under the aliases Cyrus, Quadrant, Phylyps and Radiance. Von Oswald reserved his solo work for the Basic Channel sub-label M, which issued a half-dozen Maurizio EPs during the mid-'90s. Understandably, the Maurizio sound is quite similar to Basic Channel's, though Von Oswald is often more taken with pounding dub basslines and a somewhat cleaner production style, which gives his EPs a better chance on dancefloors. Von Oswald was originally a Berlin-area percussionist who worked on LPs by the Associates and Holger Hiller during the late '80s, and also played in one of the last incarnations of Palais Schaumburg. By the end of the decade he'd made the leap from drummer to producer, working with fellow Palais Schaumburg member Thomas Fehlmann as 3MB, the in-house production team at Berlin's Tresor Records. While involved with Tresor, he recorded with Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins and remodelled one of Atkins' Infiniti tracks, "Think Quick" into one of the most sublime techno productions ever released. It was an intriguing Berlin-Detroit collaboration which signalled the continuing close link between the two cities. (In 1995, Von Oswald again worked with Atkins for the debut Model 500 album, Sonic Sunset.)

While still working at Tresor in 1993, Von Oswald had formed Basic Channel Records with partner Mark Ernestus. The immediately recognizable BC sound, a ruddy take on Detroit techno with minimal changes and maximum echo-chamber droning capacity, asserted itself with nine vinyl-only EPs during the next few years, recorded as various aliases including Cyrus, Quadrant, Phylyps and Radiance, though all were presumably Von Oswald and Ernestus. In the meantime, the Maurizio project had begun recording in 1993, with the first release on M Records, the Ploy EP. After being remixed by the Orb, it was reissued by the British WAU!/Mr. Modo and even appeared on the second Excursions in Ambience compilation. M Records next released an EP by Vainqueur, then concentrated on Maurizio yet again with five EPs during the next three years.

Besides M and Basic Channel, Von Oswald had also founded sub-labels Rhythm & Sound, Burial Mix and Imbalance, though he later turned over management of the latter to Robert Henke (of the duo Monolake). Except for Maurizio's "Ploy," none of the Basic Channel/Maurizio material had appeared on cassette or CD, thanks to the duo's polemical stance about vinyl. Finally in 1995, a Basic Channel sampler was released, though most of the tracks were viciously edited to fit more than three or four tracks onto a seventy-minute CD. Maurizio released a similar compilation by 1997, followed by Basic Channel compatriots Porter Ricks, Vainqueur and Monolake. John Bush

CDs

  1. Maurizio - Maurizio[Amazon US]
    Concentrating on volumes four through seven in the M Records series, Maurizio collects edits of seven tracks, adding one original 12" mix and one unreleased mix.

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