German producer Michael Knop is no stranger to the dystopian sounds of underground techno. Releasing under the Distale alias for nearly a decade, this is yet another example of Berlin’s creative subculture. Knop announces a new chapter in his production with the introduction of TMPLT, an artist project and label. As part of the Native Instruments team, Knop is no stranger to the evolution of electronic music tech, but ahead of the label’s first release we had to learn more.
Dubbed ‘The Verge’, this LP is a return to the dance floor for the abstract-leaning producer. Inspired by names like The Prodigy, Martyn, Finger Lickin’ Records; the twelve track double pack is duo out on a pair of 180 gram 12″. After giving the release a rinse, we asked Knop to share a bit more about the tools behind the sound.
Jomox XBASE 999: All of my Kicks have been made with this incredible analog-sounding piece of hardware
Somewhere between breaks and dub techno, this TMPLT record is a pulsing journey through the spectrum of rave. Stacked upon a solid foundation of industrial, it’s immediately clear that Knop was bred on dark dance floors with heavy sounds.
I have been in love with the Fingerlickin Sound since I was 16 or 17. Back then I was listening a lot of Tresor mixes and artists like Surgeon, Martyn, and the Ilian Tape Records… from my point of view, the Album is influenced by a mixture of all named artists and labels + the TMPLT signature sound…
Most of these tunes are undeniably infectious. Within thirty seconds of track 03 ‘4LOR’, you’ve already sunk into a bass-driven trance. The Prodigy vibes are real and Knop’s live-fueled angle on the TMPLT project is ready to deliver the full experience.
Elektron Analog Heat Mk2: All Kicks went through this unit + I did a bit of bus compression like the hi-hat or synth bus.
In terms of the label, TMPLT will start as an outlet for sounds by Knop himself. After being convinced by Sandra Gold (Palais Club) and Andre Kronert to go his own route; a small team was assembled around the new imprint. Designs from Claudie Eden and mastering by Brian Sanhaji wrap up the full length as a pack of timeless electronica.
Pulsing drumlines make parts like ‘Karta’ and dance-floor orientated, four on the floor belter. Other Tracks like ‘Pureight’ are pregame and chill before going to the rave. The impact of his typical deep & bass feels made with studio fixtures like Roland’s SH101 and the JOMOX 999. Tracks like 08 ‘HRDHEX’ lace breaks fueled melody that’s nothing short of entrancing.
Maschine MK2: Almost all percussion sounds are from the Maschine MK2. I like the workflow and the expansion packs are sounding amazing.
Working in house at Native Instruments, it’s no surprise that TMPLT productions lean heavily on the workflows created by the German hardware manufacturer. This quick run through Knop’s studio reveals a digital blend of tools build for percussion. References to drum work are backed up by the record itself.
Underground sounds paint the picture of a post-apocalyptic landscape, or maybe this is just the soundtrack from Blade. Vox when present are skewed robotic blends of future transmissions. Overall, Verge is quite the trippy affair.
Super 8 from Native Instruments: All Bass Sounds are from this beast. It sounds amazing and it is showing the potential of Reaktor 6 at all
Considering this is just the first in a new adventure, this quarantine debut is eagerly waiting to be unleashed on a warehouse.