M.A.N.D.Y. 'Double Fantasy' review

Eileen Pegg pens her thoughts on the long awaited debut from Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer, coming 11 years after their ubiquitous track 'Body Language'.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 11th Nov 2016.
Originally published: 28th Oct 2016

Image: M.A.N.D.Y. 

It’s been 11 years since Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer, aka M.A.N.D.Y, released ‘Body Language’ alongside Booka Shade, their astonishing dance floor classic and ultimately the track that transported them to electronic stardom.

With this momentous release instantly charting and making that elusive pseudonym a household name, many others would use the time in the spotlight to strike while the iron is hot, releasing an album to kick start their entire career.

But not M.A.N.D.Y. Their first track alone was enough to plaster the duo’s name firmly on hundreds of mix series', festivals and club circuits for years to come. However, 2016 seems to be the right time for them to showcase to the world their sonic capabilities with their first proper solo album.

After all, in an age when electronic music is truly enjoying popularity with so many new DJs and producers appearing every day, there is no better time for these stalwarts of the scene to show us what they’re made of.  

Double Fantasy  features 10 original tracks, selected from a much larger body of work that has accumulated over time. This album then is a cherry picked insight into the musical development of this dynamic duo, 11 years on.

‘Mikado’ eases us in to the album with a slightly unnerving, almost cartoon-esque, childlike skit, urging you to clap your hands. As head honchos of the aptly named Get Physical label, it only seems right that a body groovin’ reaction of this sort is encouraged.

Things are quick to get going in ‘Planlos in Seattle'. Techno tweaks drive you along, pulsating and slowly building yet never reaching an obvious peak, leaving the listener in anticipation for more.  Things are stepped up a notch in ‘Rabbit Mountain’ with a glitch filled cosmic journey of space age beats and bells – you’re a long way from Watership Down on this bunny mound.  

Also of note is the ethereal ‘Tomorrow is Another Night’. Busy with beautiful melodies on tuneful wood-block sounds, this track builds up into an almost progressive breakdown that you can see can forming the soundtrack to many sunrises and early morning moments in years to come. 

Finally, ending as the album begun, ‘Jupiter’(listen above) is an industrial scene with simmering pads orbiting the track as the drums make themselves known. They ricochet around the atmospheric arrangement like disco meteors in space, rounding off proceedings perfectly.

Even in their first full album, M.A.N.D.Y still pay homage to their breakthrough track, including a bonus rework of ‘Body Language’, re-imagined in the style of a world music song but still instantly recognisable.

Overall Double Fantasy makes for great listening, offering a sophisticated selection of beats honed through years of experience. It never desperately chases the ‘drop’, but takes the listener along for the entire emotional ride instead.

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