An Ardent Heart is a focused techno mini album that brings forward Stefan Goldmann's most dancefloor-centered material in a decade. The tracks push and pull relentlessly. Despite their linear appeal, there is an intricately balanced interplay between the heavy-handed kicks, the bouncy bass accents and the sizzling, yet clear-cut details whipped up by the rallying drums.
The peculiar, seemingly vocalised mode of synthesis is maybe the most unifying sonic characteristic of the six tracks and one coda. Formant shaping, vowel filters and airstream perturbations let a wide range of sounding elements speak in the tongues of a cybernetic Babylon. Layered polymetric patterns perforate the aural plane with alien scripts. Clearly structured, yet opaque messages that seem to have traveled for aeons emanate from the red-hot circuitry. They spill into a network of delays, channeled down into labyrinthine corridors, enveloped in electrostatic noise.
Most tracks build on chance patterns evoked with hardware sequencers and freeform modulation sources. The resulting synthetic systems are as cohesive as they exhibit vast internal variation and range. Thus balancing simplicity and complexity right in the middle, the results are just as immediately gripping as they can feed sustained attention. A wide palette of distortion and overtones mark the contours of individual elements that seem to have near-physical qualities as if there were metallic strings, thick membranes, a resonating sphere, all struck by electric mallets, caused to vibrate by mechanical bows and sung by silicone lips.