[Diynamic Music; 2013]

Hamburg’s Martin Stimming has been making gorgeous minimal tech house for several years now, and his latest eponymous album is no exception. “Cherry Blossom” in particular stands out with its stately piano and light, bittersweet orchestral flourishes; those who enjoyed Reform Club’s excellent Claro Intelecto from last year will find plenty to enjoy here, especially those delayed string pads. His distant, muffled vocals and dripping synths only add to the track’s mystery and melancholy, while a bongo-assisted groove maintains its danceable propulsion. This is minimal techno in the sense that it relies on just a few key instrumental elements to create an atmosphere greater than the sum of its parts, but “Cherry Blossom” goes to show that romance need not be anathema to the typically cold genre. This one’s for the lovers.