The Director's Cut: David Löhlein – Via Taya [Vision Ekstase] – Magnetic Magazine

Stuttgart techno fixture David Löhlein continues his legacy of intricate textures and hypnotic soundscapes over compelling rhythms on his debut album. Released on his Vision Ekstase label, “VIA TAYA” is a deep dive into the lush, sultry techno that’s defined the artist’s sound since the release of the first single “ALTAI” in 2019. In a flawless production, Löhlein crafts his compositions with meticulous attention to detail, evoking introspective soundscapes and slow-release euphoria.
Standout tracks like “VIA TAYA” marry a minimalist groove with sensual melody, ebbing and flowing hypnotically. “COBRA” and “ATHENA”, however, traverse right back to Löhlein’s signature sound: Dynamic techno beats unfurling over hypnotic sounds, toying with the senses and really making you miss raving. “LOST IN THE LIGHTS” is a strong example of how affecting Löhlein’s sleek and sophisticated techno grooves can be – even when delving into the realms of minimalist hip-hop. The closing track “LIJANA” picks up the pace with loaded percussion and basslines.
“VIA TAYA” is David Löhlein expanding his creative narrative into a potent mix. The result is an impressive debut album that’s both dynamic and cohesive—a hopeful and melancholic rebellion with a notoriously sexy streak.
How to listen: There are a couple of ways to proceed. First, you can listen to the whole album, which you will find below, and then read the notes. Or, read the notes as you listen to each track. This will completely change your perspective on the whole release itself and bring you closer to the artist and their work.
Words by David Löhlein
cc Bella Christmann
I am a big fan of the older Klock / Dettmann tracks. Accordingly, I was inspired by this sound and wanted to do a track like that on the album. In the "lockdown summer 2019" I was often on long walks to clear my head. On many of the walks I heard the track "The World Tonight". I loved this mood and took the vibe with me into the studio and produced ATREVIDA. The first track from the album has stood and accompanied me since then. Due to my MacBook crash, I had to recycle the track because I only had the master file left, but I couldn't mix it that way. So I made an edit, changed a few things and the arrangement. I know that I was jumping full of euphoria in the studio when the premaster was finally ready.
The track was created more by accident. I was in the studio and surfing around on Reddit looking for some new samples and interesting threads. Then I found the thread "sample this" where people were posting different recordings. From African drummers, to animal sounds and old records. One of the samples was a train. I was so inspired by the sound that DAWNING came out of it. Several elements were created from this train. If I find the entry, I definitely have to thank the author. For me, the track has a Paul Kalkbrenner type of mood. I always lack the words for this certain mood but it reminds me a little of “after us the deluge”. A melancholic, hopeful but sentimental mood. Like when the world is ending and we have one last fight ahead of us.
VIA TAYA is probably the track I associate with the most. Also probably because it is the main album track. It was one of the last tracks on the album. I was in the studio late at night jamming around. I was back in my cumbia/salsa mood for a few days and was looking through old recordings of it. I love the music style. Cumbia has a certain sassy, intimate, sexy yet deep vibe that I love and can often get caught up in. It also always reminds me of my first big trip abroad in 2019 and meanwhile also of the album and the production time in Colombia. For me, it is always a short time out, a little switch off, mental teleportation to beautiful Colombia. On one of these recordings was an eight-bar loop of an instrument. I heard it and knew right away that I wanted to use it. I changed it, stretched it, and put my David Löhlein note on it. The rest of the track was done in about an hour. After that, I thought it was time for the first track in my life with a choir. No sooner said than done and after a few hours VIA TAYA was finished. I was incredibly proud of it because it reflects my emotions and my innermost in full resolution.
It was Friday or Saturday and we were at the club with some friends. Since the club was still closed at that time, we were often there just to be together, to make music, and to see the club at least a little bit alive. So also on this day. I've never really been a big acid fan but there are a few tracks that acid perfectly translates to my taste. When used correctly and especially discreetly it screams for sex. My friend Rove Ranger showed me that day how he uses a 303 emulation. I thought okay, today, slightly drunk you’ll produce an acid track. And also this track was two, three hours later already finished. I knew that only vocals were missing and asked Any Mello if she would like to record something for it. She has the perfect voice for it and I find Portuguese a super hot language. She sent me the first version and I loved it. She nailed it!
ATHENA was the track I didn't know for a long time if I should put it on the album. During the production with Crimson Sky for LOST IN THE LIGHTS, we were in the studio for several days to mix one of his trap productions. During a break, we were listening to the tracks and he saw me and said, you have to put this one on the album. I trusted him, put it on the album, and never regretted it. It gives the album the perfect snake vibe on top.
KUSHVA has undoubtedly become the gang track on the album. For the first album, it was clear that we had to do a gang track. I think it's also the first compilation track ever from us. We had different approaches, for a while we all wanted to sit down in the studio with drums and instruments and jam "instrumentally". Another idea was to rent a place for a weekend and produce a track together, completely detached from the environment, just like the Beatles. One of the last ideas was that each of us would make a few elements in his studio and then we would put it together. In the end… we were in the studio on the last day before master delivery and made the track together from a few basic elements everyone produced in advance. Typical story of us. I love my friends, even though we have a very exciting dynamic of our own and it is often very chaotic. That seems to be part of it and KUSVHA couldn't have embodied that better. We are not perfectly organized, no Beatles and no fashion freaks. We are who we are – a couple of guys who have become friends and pursued their passion.
This is probably one of the most emotional tracks on the album. For us it has a very intimate, melancholic mood that is about recreating the feeling of the club, the night, and being lost in the (club) lights. Especially during the production period, when there were no clubs, this feeling was very present. Leo, Crimson Sky, captured that mood perfectly with his voice and vocals and it's one of the tracks I'm incredibly proud of as well. Regardless of the technical details, I think the track triggers exactly what good music should. Deeper emotions.
Lijana is the most personal track for me. Lijana is the name of my grandmother with whom I have a lot in common and to whom I owe a lot. I played the trumpet for several years and as a piano teacher, my grandma could always practice and play together with me. I often think about her and the moments we had together. She had a strong influence on me, gave me self-confidence, and inspired me in her very own way. I remember to this day that one time when I was still fresh in production, I came up to her and put headphones on her, and showed her my new tracks. While my family had never really understood music and never really wanted to, my grandmother perceived music with an openness that I had never been able to perceive before. And she understood the core of the music, felt the music, and also gave me valuable tips at that time. Without having heard techno even once before. Lijana is dedicated to her. Thanks for everything.
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