Compilation Review: ‘The Gym: Muscle Tuff’ (The Gym)

The Gym Muscle Tuff


The Gym collective lay down a fantastically sleeved eight point plan of how to get your pulse alight. Start off slowly, then vary the reps and intensity.

After a soulful pep talk from Josa Peit, Brandt Brauer Frick’s “Two in a Bush” is a once-smooth techno pulley scratched ragged, The Gym owners tuning a treadmill that throws up objects to disrupt your stride. The dulled techno of “Reset My Mind” is Bodo Elsel favoring mental over physical conditioning, an unblinking, pained vocal drone looking for the reboot button as if aghast at its own reflection. Strictly for gym loners that go through their own rituals before bench-pressing twice their bodyweight with their little finger, the album is generally for those wanting to box themselves into a corner. Don’t expect a fronting instructor to take the lead, though there’s more a group effort about the disco confidence coursing through Muff Deep. Much like a treadmill visit, Muscle Tuff is perfunctory in doing you good, though by all means gorge on Douglas Greed’s nasty bassline slingshot.

James Braun and Dan M’s “People Move” and Bernard Crochet’s “Dawn Raid…,” turning bass over for a leaden techno skipping rope, are further engagements in focus mode; chiselled sparseness that’s ready for the gladiatorial. Dollkraut’s tinman perseveres into a jazzy deep house getdown, and Max Graef supplies the collection’s breather, revelling in a dizzy spell with bass rebounds and time/space appraisal.

File under: Nina Kraviz, Aroop Roy, Pierre Chevallier

Matt Oliver

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