Berlin, Detroit, Munich, London, Tel Aviv - all places we associate with techno. Tel Aviv? Best believe it. Like Guy Gerber before him, Shlomi Aber is putting Israel on the techno map.
Appearing as if from nowhere with the tech-house killer 'Crop Duster', a canny Renaissance snapped him up, offering Aber the first ever artist album release for their renowned club and mix compilation colossus. But it's doubtful that they could predict what an immense album he would drop on them.
'State of No One', out now, is Shlomi Aber's manifesto laid bare. With an intuitive grasp of dancefloor techno, Aber wanted to mine a different seam for his album - more inspired by the Detroit electronica opuses of Carl Craig's 'More Songs about Buildings and Food' - rather than turn out a collection of faceless dancefloor tracks.
"I find it boring to listen to dancefloor albums," Aber asserted. "The idea of making an album is to create different experiences, try out different genres. If it's a good dancefloor track I would always prefer to release it as a single."
Indeed, 'State of No One' traverses all manner of grooves. From the deep Detroit chords and uncanny whispers of the title track's amniotic bob, to 'Moods'' crisp snow-scapes and clumping 4/4 beat, it's a modern ambient epic to rank alongside such classics as The Orb's 'UF Orb' and Global Communications' '76.14'. 'Random Fiction', featuring the sublime vocal tones of Anat Ben Hemo, is a barely-there thread of mellifluous tech-house, while Aber's collaboration with Guy Gerber, 'Sea of Sand', previously released by Cocoon to great acclaim, is a more upbeat dust devil drive, transporting the Motor City groove to a Middle Eastern desert with stunning effect. Yet, it's really tracks like 'Eastern Breeze' that mark Aber's electronica as distinctly different. Featuring the haunting sound of the oud - a rare instrument from Yemen - it lends the track a surprisingly Middle Eastern feel.
"I heard from a friend about some old Yemeni guy who lives in a village three hours from Tel Aviv, who played this interesting instrument - the oud," smiled Aber. "I was very interested, as I was looking for some extra elements for the album. After a few tries, this 80-year-old guy agreed to come to my studio to play for me. He drank 10 cups of tea in two hours. It was a very funny and strange day!"
Not content to have a classic album under his belt, Aber's already up and at 'em with a load of new forthcoming releases.
"I've got a very cool EP coming on my own label, Be As One, which is my next important project. It's called 'Diosa' and it's definitely some of my best work to date. After that I'm doing another EP for Ovum in February and possibly a Cocoon EP as well."