Music by VICE

25 Years On, Juan Atkins and Moritz von Oswald Are Still Exploring the Borderland of Techno

Listen to the premiere of "Zeolites" ahead of the release of the 'Transport' album on April 29.

by Jesse Weiss
Apr 21 2016, 3:25pm

Courtesy of the label

Almost 25 years on from their first collaboration as 3MB, Juan Atkins and Moritz von Oswald are back in the studio together, and not much has changed.

"The only difference between then and now is now we have MIDI," Atkins told THUMP over the phone, "it's all about experimenting." Ahead of the release of the upcoming Borderland LP Transport, Atkins highlighted the natural chemistry between the two techno heroes when they got in the studio together, "we just plug into this vibe and it's not a lot of discussion, it just happens."

The Borderland project was initially conceived by Dimitri Hegemann, owner of the infamous Tresor nightclub in Berlin, and the in-house record label, which celebrates its 25th birthday this year. Atkins, Oswald and the old Tresor night club were all integral parts of the "Detroit-Berlin axis," the often-cited term for the symbiotic relationship between the two cities when techno was on the rise in the 90's. Though much has changed in both cities since then, Atkins says that with Borderland, the connection has been revitalized. Borderland released their first eponymous LP in 2013, a collection of deep and minimal tracks, with Atkins' lush synth work, and Oswald's crisp engineering and production.

A typically deep and ethereal sound is achieved again on Transport, and we're excited to premiere the closing track, "Zeolites" today on THUMP. It's a toned-down and warm slice of ambient techno, equally welcome in an after-hours DJ set, or listening on your headphones.

Atkins spoke about the sense of introspection which pervades through the record, something Borderland is going to retain for their live performance at Movement this year. He says: "I think the music is definitely more listener-friendly but then again, we've played a couple of theaters where people actually sit down and watch the show. Those are usually the best shows. And the music lends to that. But a live show for Borderlands is almost like doing a DJ set—you never know what's going to happen 'til you get there."

Check out Transport when it releases on April 29, and look out for the live Borderland performance this year at Movement.

Jesse is THUMP's intern. Catch him on Twitter

Juan Atkins
moritz von oswald