Art and Techno

Ronni Arturo on Michael Klein's - »Snapshot«

Profet's Ronni Arturo listens to German producer Michael KLein's new record »Snapshot« and falls into futuristic thoughts.

Let’s kick off with a clarification, this article is not about the Romanian footballer Michael Klein, neither the American art dealer Michael Klein nor his countryman Michael Klein, the investment banking analyst. This piece is about the German producer and DJ Michael Klein and his latest release »Snapshot«, a record covered by a painting resembling what a Salvador Dalí attempt at a more sexualized »Bladerunner« would look like. The ambiguous character pictured on the »Snapshot« cover running toward or away from something, is shackled by unpleasant red chords, either draining it of life or retaining a small remainder of energy. Bound to its restraints, the creature’s face is concealed with a Dalí-esque melting cloth, forcing it’s wearer to run in oblivion of the space before its naked feet.
        It has been interpreted that Dalí’s melted clocks are meant to picture the deterioration of time, so what could this image on the cover of »Snapshot« imply? Could it in fact be the character’s entire face morphing into a dark mass and slowly retreating down toward its chest? Or is it rather wearing a protective visor to shield its innocent eyes from the careful light that escapes from the direction where the creature is headed? Consider the title of the album for one second, and think that this picture is a simple snapshot of a series of events unknown to us, or only available through the use of the imagination. No further explanation will most likely be given as to where this naked subject is running, or what its shackles may do to it. Better instead just to imagine a storyline of your own.

This cover bears most resemblance to Michael Klein’s other 2018 release, »Peter’s Hand«, in that they both brings iconized art to mind. The »Peter’s Hand« cover pictures the sketched remains of a bust or a sculpture, not broken down by time but actively re-chiselled in order to retire from its original state. The artistic flirtations are nowhere to be seen on last year’s cover for Klein’s »Blk Drp 3«, which could be an ad poster for a generic urban prêt a porter fashion brand; dull, predictable and not unlike what we see in store windows walking down any busy shopping street in any major city in Europe. If Klein sticks to his new schtick, he’ll go further than if he’d go back to the »Blk Drp 3« look, because in this digital day and age, the cover of an album still mediates the listener to engage in the music.

Michael Klein’s tunes have gone through little or none change from »Blk Drp 3« (which, even though its uninteresting cover, actually is a decent Techno EP) but with the sci-fi feeling of the character on the cover of »Snapshot«, the music is put within another context – nearly framing it in the format of a sci-fi soundtrack. I would like to have heard »Them Psychos«, the album’s most catchy bit, in an opening scene where a silent driver sits in a neon vehicle, maniacally cruising the air of a non-existing highway, lighting up a pitch-black night sky. As the thump of Klein’s kick kicks a hole through the perception of time, our lone cruiser speeds in over a futuristic city, aiming ferociously at a specific building made out of glass. Through the walls, we see hundreds, maybe thousands of creatures like the one on the cover of »Snapshot«, all struggling to escape their bonds without success. Our silent hero in the neon carriage dives down, piercing the thick air of the city, falling toward the glass wall as »Them Psychos« escalates. With the track’s climax, the speeding car crashes into the glass and thus the snapshot of the story is over. The rest, my friends, is left to your imagination.

October 7 2018