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  • Roman Flügel

The German record label Dial has been on my radar for a while now, having put out a distinctly sumptuous and elegant brand of house music that carries a melancholy and foreboding tinge. This year the label has released another winner, Frankfurt DJ and producer Roman Flügel’s Happiness Is Happening. Flügel has been making music since the early 90s and is known for shifting between IDM, techno, house, and myriad electronic subgenres. But on Happiness Is Happening Flügel reaches further back to the kind of dark, gothy synth-pop of the mid-to-late 1980s. Today’s 12 O’Clock Track, “Wilkie,” reminds me more of Black Celebration– or Music for the Masses-era Depeche Mode than anything else. Flügel plays Smart Bar Friday night, and his set promises to be as wide-ranging and enthralling as his career has been.