Review: Steffi - Power of Anonymity


We all know the power of anonymity, the power that a faceless body has over us on the dance floor – someone we want to take, not know; someone we want to use us how they desire without needing to tell us why.  Those hot, sweaty bodies. Those looks. Those blank tunes that suspend us in time, in that perfect moment before the first touch and the final kiss. We want to be that person who is nobody for them.  We want to know these things without being known. We want the light to fall on the curve of their body and not their eyes.  We don't need to know that we are being watched by people, unknown people, everywhere, crowding us together as we dance and watch and breathe in trying to separate their scent from the room. It is not too dark to see for miles, but it is too dark to see where they put their nameless hands. Everything is electric. Nothing is personal. All you can do is sink back, eyes closed, and let the music take you away.

Steffi's music makes me feel good. An old, familiar, satisfied good. A genuine good that grows from within. I don't always want to always feel like I am going to crack under the black strain of industrial techno that makes me think to stay afloat. Sometimes I want to smile and feel light and loved. I want to feel like I am free. Sometimes I just want to shut out the world and dance. This is what Steffi's new album gives, but that is not all.

It's not that Power of Anonymity calls me back to the last time I heard her, playing on her birthday in July with my favourites Stereogamous and Shaun J. Wright and Marcel Dettmann, with Steffi's new music summoning us to get lost in a crowd of sun-soaked clubbers recovering in the summer Lustgarten, feeling alive at this high-point of the Berlin year. Power of Anonymity isn't nostalgic music like that, but I'm reminded of nostalgia because it has a cleanness about it that recalls the excitement I felt when I first heard greats like Joris Voorn, a recollection of feeling, not a longing for things past. When I hear this album, I recognise a safe, familiar zone where I can drift for hours. Her familiarity is grounded in Berlin's minimal  sounds and in Panorama Bar's morning light, but the occasional musical déjà attendu makes me think of Chicago. I like knowing where I am with such certainty. I like knowing how my madeleine will taste before I dip it in my tech-house-tea.

A number of these tracks will drive us through the night this festive season, through Berlin snow and Sydney sun. "Selfhood" is the track I fell in love with first, clinging to the tiny blips that make me want to move. "Bag of Crystals" is sure to be a dance-floor standard. “Hard Hitting Horizon” has a warped, curved sound, pulsating with womb-like promise. “jbw25” is dirty in the way Ben Klock is dirty; a clever, precise twist in the simple rhythm that makes you want to move in a way that makes the same people who were looking before look at you again. “Bang For Your Buck” has such a sexy promise, I can barely wait to get back downstairs, to be up against the wall with an anonymous beauty, to indulge in the power that anonymity bestows.

Steffi's sound is precise and strong. She can be a strict mistress when she wants to be. It's easy to imagine how these tracks will be appear in mixes this new year, the killer tracks that hold it all together and remind us why she's a much-loved resident at the epicentre of European electronic music. When you're this good, you cannot remain anonymous. Is that what makes it so appealing?

01. Pip
02. Everyday Objects
03. Selfhood
04. Power Of Anonymity
05. Bag Of Crystals
06. Hard Hitting Horizon
07. Bang For Your Buck
08. JBW25
09. Treasure Seeking feat. Dexter & Virginia
10. Fine Friend