Electronic music has always looked to the future for its inspiration. From Jeff Mills’ epic soundtrack to Metropolis, to the space-battle sounds of drum ‘n bass to the sunglasses of Afrika Bambataa, it’s all about the future-is-now sound. That would put Pan-Pot somewhere at the year 10,191. Yes, they are from Berlin and yes, they have some songs named after drugs (“Charly” and, er, “Crank”) but from there, it is all innovation and high-action end-time tunes. Their debut album, Pan-O-Rama, is an endlessly dark cavern of minimalien design which was lauded world-over for it’s low end night-funk sound. “We’re just sitting in our studio, eating strawberries,” writes Tassilo Ippenberger, one half of Pan-Pot. “Tomorrow, we’ll go to Istanbul, so probably we’ll leave the studio not too late for having a relaxed evening tonight.” Ippenberger joins with his friend Thomas Benedix to make Pan-Pot—named so after the influential production knob, or Panoramic Potentiometer. One listen and it’s painfully clear they are highly-trained producers. “Around 5 years ago we met each other at the audio engineering school and got serious about producing electronic dance music.” They got serious in Berlin the way the devil got serious in Eden.
Serpentine grooves drive all of the LP there is not a vocal to be found, unless you count the literally wicked transposition in “Charly.” At such a forward-thinking clip, it could be assumed Pan-Pot were born and raised inside a Tron-world of mechanized mothers. Not so. “We both played different instruments from piano to saxophone,” writes Ippenberger. “Also the flute and stuff like that.” (The thought of Pan-Pot on flute is akin to imagining Joe Perry rocking the piccolo). There is no live element of their upcoming DJ set, although the back-to-back style (one person plays one record, the other person has to mix out and into their own selection) does add a distinctive element. “It is something creative,” he writes. “It becomes a kind of creative competition.” A Pan-Pot DJ set is very much like the record experience: vertigo-inducing drops and rising tides of white noise so long and large there are moments a listener might cover their ears—or hide under their beds. A mix of house and techno, with don’t-look-down bass depth, the DJ set is not all blips and bloops. “The kind of powerful sound from an electric guitar,” he writes, “which we both recorded during our studies, is untouchable.” Although not aligned with industrial music, as much as the Black Magic night that is bringing them, Pan-Pot still have a scary, night-vision way to produce music, plus industrial also has a parallel in its emphasis on production. Names like Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Justin Broadrick (Godflesh) are still on the list of best producers on earth. When asked about their knowledge of the genre, Ippenberger says: “We are not into the scene although the music sounds interesting.” Interesting sounds about sums it up. Know then that it is the year 10,191 and that warbling, wub-wub-style club music streaming from your stereo like the twisting spine of a sandworm? That’s “Molly: Concerto for Space-Flute (c: Ippenberger)”.