“The latest release on Workshop comes from an unlikely source. Ozel AB is a graduate of one of modern dance music’s most polarising outlets, Lobster Theremin. Specialising in a scuffed and rhythmically simple sound, Lobster Theremin is a scene-defining label, having laid the groundwork for the divisive lo-fi house sound pushed by artists like Mall Grab and DJ Boring. Workshop 24 suggests that the two labels might not be so different after all.
Like Workshop, Lobster Theremin releases house and techno that’s not obviously club-friendly. Both labels regularly put out music that’s slower and more mellow than most house music these days, which means you’ll often need play their records at a set’s opening or closing. This is especially true of Workshop 24, which piles on washes of thick atmosphere over muffled kick drums and oddball basslines. The charm comes when random splurts of synth and tape hiss become melodic, which is best heard on the six-minute “Sunfire” that appears on the EP’s bonus 7-inch. Unfurling into a beautiful Tangerine Dream-style synth track, it’s beatless until the final minute, during which a faint kick drum emerges underneath layers of cheery melody—an endearing moment.
Most of the package’s other tracks are more conventional. The atmosphere is also dense on “Whuffie,” where another plodding kick drum shuffles through static and feedback that’s more pleasant than those sounds should be. The tribalist “Sierra Echo” is Workshop 24’s heaviest tune, with the EP’s clearest vocal sample (“I just want love”) and a simple key riff.“