“I am old enough to even remember a time before techno and electronic music – the word DJ didn’t mean that much…” — David Moufang aka Move D
A man of many disguises and a serial collaborator, David Moufang aka Move D continues to amaze his audience today by releasing consistently brilliant EP’s and LP’s, year in, year out. A true veteran of the craft, Moufang has been commercially producing music for 25 years and has appeared on labels as varied as Running Back, Warp, Workshop, Uzuri and Underground Quality.
Moufang is undoubtedly among the artists that people passionate about electronic music should learn about and observing how he develops with time is especially interesting, considering how youthful and curious his sound became over time. Although not essential, it is best to take the time to listen to Moufang’s work in chronological progression as making this investment will help the listener appreciate how Moufang has unfurled over his 25-year career.
His sound isn’t by any means settled in a distinct style and his discography is a testament to his artistic versatility. The beginning of his discography sounds like a sci-fi soundtrack, whereas twenty years later, he produces drum-heavy funk-oriented material that rips dance floors apart. Even today, Moufang’s sound continues to be youthful and inquisitive.
Kunststoff was big when it was released, and there’s no secret why — it’s a masterful blend of very rhythmic, almost IDM-ish Techno and an airy and atmospheric character. There were three represses of the LP in 1995 alone and most recently on AVA.
Move D speaks a lot about how much robotics, technology, and space have influenced him as an artist. These motives can be traced in his earlier work, and Kunststoff is an excellent example of that.
The most memorable feature of this LP is its mood. After giving the album a first listen, you’ll notice how eery and introspective it is. There are many gems on Move D’s debut album that will awaken even a modern crowd, but this minor-scale and self-questioning mood of the record makes it an armchair Techno classic.
Not only does Kunststoff pass the test of time, but it also stays relevant in the current House/Techno ecosystem. Furthermore, for the producers out there, this is one of the valuable examples of a piece of art from the times when plugins didn’t even exist.
Linienbusse is a collective effort made by Jamie Hodge, Kai Kroker, and David Moufang. And although this isn’t a solo Move D project, it’s safe to say that this album is among Moufang’s most significant investments towards mastering the craft of electronic music.
The LP is an Electronica/Techno organic masterpiece packed with soul – it progresses, it moves, it breathes. There is a ghost in the machine.
The tracklist reads more like a bus itinerary that moves through a list of locations in Berlin. Musically speaking, Linienbusse does sound like a trip. The name of the album roughly translates from German as “Regular Busses” which suggests that the tracks are dedicated to the artists’ beloved sites in Berlin; after all, we’re influenced by what we see every day.
This breathtaking LP attempts to take its listener to the places where electronic music originated, by showing them its more emotive and meditative side.
Another impressive collaborative project that sees Move D join forces with Juju and Jordash. First seeing life on wax on Workshop in 2012, Magic Mountain High is an improvisational act that was born at the Freerotation Festival and has since been performing all over the world.
The untitled A-side is pretty much a ten-minute analogue excursion, with a profound and bold bass line, abundant percussion, and sound FX that takes you back to the time of “Kunststoff.” The B-side is much more playful. It has the same dense and rubbery drum section, but with joyful and even naïve melodies.
Also, check out the follow-up – Live At Freerotation
Deep Space Network was a collaboration between Moufang and fellow Heidelberg native, Jonas Grossmann which ran across 4 albums between 1994 and 2005. One of the highlights of the partnership is 1993’s Big Rooms.
Originally released on Moufang’s Source Records, it was given 2020 reboot and a long-awaited vinyl release on US label, re:discovery, Big Rooms is an 8 track ambient techno and breakbeat epic that lives up to the Deep Space Network name, as broken drum patterns and worm-hole traversing acid lines intertwine with glacial synths across a wide temp-range. Cinematic electronic music at its finest.
Another collaboration, this time with Scottish producer and fellow serial-collaborator, Johah Sharp which is some of Moufang’s more club-focused output. The partnership has seen 4 albums with the highlight being 2008’s Playtime on Berlin’s Workshop label. Playtime combines live instrumentation (Dinner with Q), life-affirming anthems (Keep Building with Fred P), off-kilter rhythms (Confidence), and beatless excursions (Freerotation, Shibuya Day) into an incredibly diverse yet singular listening experience.
Also, check out 2014’s techno-focused live album Reagenz – The Periodic Table on New Yorks The Bunker label
The fusion of genres happens typically in very subtle ways. It looks for common denominators. “Berger Hodge Moufang Ruit” doesn’t do that. It pairs very straightforward analogue drums programmed by Moufang and Hodge, while Ruit Kraus plays the guitar, and Karl Berger gloriously plays the vibraphone.
This album wasn’t intended to be a smooth combination of electronic and live instruments, but rather as a clash of the two worlds. With two people programming drums and bass, you can imagine that the LP is strongly percussive and full of life. Rhythmically, this project has a very tribal character and often has a slowed-down and housey drum section.
The Wire magazine said that this album is easily comparable to Miles Davis’ ‘In A Silent Way.’ This serves as a testament to the importance of this LP both in Moufang’s roster and electronic music in general.
Also, check out Conjoint – Earprints
Move D’s EP on Workshop is among the most exciting projects of his later career. Moufang has developed an affinity for heavily sampled and more classic House tropes, and Workshop 13 is an excellent showcase of his interest in this strain of electronic music.
Considering Moufang’s interest in improvisation and his long-term collaboration with Juju and Jordash in Magic Mountain High, Workshop 13 appears to be a live recording that has been trimmed and polished, rather than a carefully thought out project.
Either way, it’s rich and slightly agitated, but deep and meditative at the same time. Workshop 13 follows an aesthetic not too dissimilar to Theo Parrish. It’s not necessarily easy-going, it can’t be listened to mindlessly, and the sound is quirky and immediately recognizable – we think this a pretty good summary of Move D’s sound over the last 25 years.