6 Unforgettable Melodic House and Techno Heaters from Patrice Bäumel
Jun 2, 2023
4 min read
Since his big break fifteen years ago, Patrice Bäumel has cemented his legacy as a high-profile artist in the world of house and techno. His melodic yet cerebral style manifests as dance tracks with staying power in a market otherwise flooded with music that will soon be forgotten.
Patrice grew up in West Germany, where music by the likes of Depeche Mode, Skinny Puppy, The Cure, and Yello informed his early aesthetic. These bands’ melancholic motifs can be heard in his emotive synth leads and artful use of noise, elements to which he surely owes his success as a producer.
“Sounding like the most popular artists of the moment will only get you so far,” said Patrice Bäumel in a 2019 interview with Form. “Best-case scenario is that you will end up a moderately successful but utterly replaceable me-too artist.”
Needless to say, Patrice is anything but. At times, his music has challenged the fundamental premise of what constitutes dance music. Other instances saw him contribute new and exciting ideas to a tried-and-true formula. Examples abound throughout his discography, but the six tracks below offer a cursory introduction to the Patrice Bäumel sound.
1. Patrice Bäumel - Surge
“Surge” embodies all that Patrice Bäumel is. Undeniably melodic yet tense and restrained, it captures the rare duality common to his creative output. Intermittent sawtooth chords shoot like rows of columns above the rest of the arrangement, rising and falling with imperial grandiosity against an otherwise tranquil backdrop.
2. Patrice Bäumel - Receiver
Symphonic melodies set a melancholic tone in the first few minutes of “Receiver.” At their peak, a rapid succession of synth sounds breaks from the traditional musicality of all that preceded it. This is textbook Patrice Bäumel: melodic storytelling juxtaposed against the sonic abstraction of techno in a way that works self-evidently well.
3. Nico Morano - Flammes ft. Donamaria (Patrice Bäumel Remix)
Patrice cast a compelling, new light on “Flammes” by Nico Morano in his remix of the track. Showing he could rein in his usual maximalist approach, he strategically used negative space to make Donamaria’s angelic vocal shine even brighter. A smattering of chimes and ethereal atmospheres give the track what it needs to elicit a life-affirming response on any dance floor.
4. Patrice Bäumel - Glutes
Another prime example of the visceral sensory experience Patrice aims to trigger with each of his tracks, “Glutes” benefits from a touch of the experimental. A portamento bass line connecting disparate frequencies emphasizes the difference between them when felt from a finely tuned system as a meandering melody offers wordless commentary from above.
5. WhoMadeWho, Patrice Bäumel - Nefertari
The accessible songwriting of WhoMadeWho complements Patrice Bäumel’s unconventional approach to music production exquisitely. Case in point: “Nefertari.” Glitched chime sounds and bent bass notes paint a picturesque backdrop for the wistful vocal that takes center stage in the arrangement. A spike in energy at the 3:30 mark suits this single as well for dance floors as it does radio play.
6. Patrice Bäumel - Roar
Who could ever forget “Roar,” the 2008 track that best encapsulates Patrice Bäumel’s dynamic aesthetic? Without even a kick drum anchoring it to the familiar, the track’s engine revving-like sound performed so well live that it catapulted him to success as a producer. “Roar” still holds up today — a rare accomplishment in the ephemeral world of dance music.