After a string of seminal club 12”s over the course of two decades, and in the midst of two successful solo careers, MMM finally release their first album. Erik Wiegand is the critically- acclaimed, PAN-affiliated Errorsmith and creator of Native Instrument’s Razor synth; Michael Fiedler is Berghain resident DJ Fiedel, as well as label head, producer, and co-founder of the legendary Wax Treatment party. While, as Messe der Meister von Morgen, the Berlin-based duo are known and beloved as a rave act providing the utmost energy, On the Edge shows their more tender side with the depth and emotional complexity befitting the sustained passion for and experience in music the project shares.
Although the market rewards regular and frequent releases, MMM have always chosen quality over quantity, taking time to achieve this and releasing when they have something they’re proud of. Self-releasing from day one – and partnering with Hard Wax for distribution – their independence has meant total artistic freedom. And even with their previous zero promo approach, their two ‘hits’ speak for themselves: 1997’s “Donna” and 2010’s “Nous Sommes MMM” (“Donna” was revealed to be the biggest-selling record in the history of Glasgow’s crucial Rubadub record store). But even though they’re known for rave-infused classics, they refuse to be pigeonholed.
In fact, the power of On the Edge is drawn from a near-meditative tension, rather than the boisterous party vibes of before – hence the title. Decades of engagement with dance music culture are filtered, refined, and synthesized, crafting a pure and individual sound. While you can clearly hear elements of genres such as techno, dub, UK bass, and gqom, it fits into none of those. If simplicity was a club weapon before, now it’s finely calibrated and downright subtle. Most tracks are spacious in their reduction – “On the Edge” and “So Nigh” contain only four elements each. Yet a lot, maybe more than before, is communicated. The accessibility of the arrangements invites everybody, but those in the know will appreciate the sophistication and inventiveness.
While not a ‘pandemic’ record per se, the timing fits. A world that’s exponentially more complex requires more sensitivity, and On The Edge reflects this. Loaded with thoughtful poignancy – they would even call it sadness – but somehow uplifting and empowering in its emotion, On the Edge is a new dimension not just for MMM but also for dance music itself.