Âme, a German electronic duo consisting of Frank Wiedemann and Kristian Beyer, make suspenseful, melodic dance tracks influenced by everything from Detroit techno and Chicago house to Krautrock, jazz, and Afro-beat. While certainly hypnotic, their tracks are far too expressive and vibrant to be labeled as minimal, and even their most accessible club singles seem grand and ambitious without resorting to progressive house clichés. Active since 2001, the duo first made a major impact with their glittering 2005 single "Rej," which conquered clubs worldwide and appeared on countless compilations and mixes. The duo co-founded the Innervisions label with Dixon that year, and along with Henrik Schwarz, the artists have toured together extensively, performing collaborative improvisations inspired by the spontaneity of jazz. Âme have released several mix CDs, such as the club-focused Fabric 42 (2008) and the more experimental Primary Structures (2011), and have remixed songs by the likes of Underworld, UNKLE, and the xx. Additionally, Âme scored another massive club hit with their remix of the 2012 single "Howling" by Wiedemann and Ry X (who subsequently assumed the project name Howling). The duo's first proper studio album, 2018's Dream House, was an immersive venture into home listening, while still retaining the journey-like drive of their dance tracks.
Beyer and Wiedemann first met in 2000 at Plattentasche, a record shop owned by Beyer that was located in their hometown of Karlsruhe, Germany. The two bonded over music and soon started DJing and producing tracks together. After bringing their music to the attention of Jazzanova, Âme began releasing singles on Sonar Kollektiv in 2003. Their early productions were collected on the 2004 CD Âme, which was met with positive reviews. The duo co-founded Innervisions as a Sonar Kollektiv sublabel in 2005, and their single "Rej" was the imprint's second release. Soon licensed by major house label Defected, the track became inescapable and made Âme major stars throughout the dance world. Mixmag named them duo of the year in 2006, and their touring schedule increased dramatically. Their debut mix CD, simply titled Mixing, appeared in 2006, followed by Coast 2 Coast in 2007. The duo began touring and producing with Henrik Schwarz, often under the name Innervisions Orchestra, and released the "Where We At" single with Chicago house pioneer Derrick Carter. "Rej" follow-up "Balandine" appeared in 2007, while the 16-minute epic "Fiori" was issued by Ostgut Ton that year. Âme's Fabric 42 mix was released in 2008, and the extremely eclectic The Grandfather Paradox (with Schwarz and Dixon) followed in 2009.
Innervisions became a self-distributed entity in 2011, the year Âme released their audacious Primary Structures mix CD. Âme Live, which was actually a studio mixture of the duo's remixes as well as their own reworked tracks, appeared in 2012. After the Âme's remix of the 2012 single "Howling" took off, Wiedemann devoted more time to the project, producing several singles that led up to the 2015 Howling album Sacred Ground. Apart from a stand-alone 2016 track titled "Doldrums," Âme made their proper return in 2018 with Dream House, an ambitious full-length influenced by Krautrock, ambient, and pop which included guest appearances from Matthew Herbert, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Gudrun Gut, and Planningtorock. ~ Paul Simpson