Robag Wruhme takes synthetic sounds and sampled noises, cuts them to fit, and turns them into beats without his music ever sounding pieced-together; every single percussive sound is a compact unit, bursting with melody. For Venq Tolep, his first album-length release on Pampa Records in eight years, Wruhme chooses to dig deeper, expanding the space of these elements. He finds beats inside the beats, opens them up further, discovers hooklines, harmonies and feels where he can dispense with rhythm entirely. From his first releases on Freude am Tanzen one could hear it, a light-footed sense of rhythm. Venq Tolep opens with two melodic, melancholic pieces: "Advent" sets one to dancing, while "Westfal" has the listener lying in the grass amid the buzzing heat and rustling wind, hearing the voice of Lysann Zander, with whom Wruhme has worked previously on projects including his album Thora Vukk (PAMPA 002CD, 2011). Hers is not the only familiar name on this album -- Sidsel Endresen and Bugge Wesseltoft have both appeared on releases from Wruhme's bootleg label. Here, they are featured on "Nata Alma," a laid-back club track. "Iklahx" and "Ak-Do 5" both possess a carefree percussiveness, while "Komalh" and "Ago Lades" prove that when Wruhme talks about techno, he means club music more akin to the elegance of London two-step, fueled by R&B/hip-hop and swingbeat, and far removed from the Belgian-Teutonic bunker sound. "Bézique Atout" is a reinterpretation of "Domino," a track from French producer Oxia which Wruhme remixed in 2017, stylishly making it his own. Two more familiar tracks are "Volta Copy," a version of his 2015 hit "Volta Cobby," minus the beat, but now propelled by arpeggios, and "Ende #2," like greetings received from around the world in a day, picks up where "Ende" from Thora Vukk leaves off. Title track "Venq Tolep" draws on all the album's various movements in four minutes and 18 seconds: the light, pensive mood, the subtle, driving rhythm, the ambient-sounding layers of synthesized strings and the percussive electric piano melody lines. Venq Tolep has a well-rounded sound, like an arch unfolding in space; that, of course, is the universe of Robag Wruhme. With Venq Tolep, Wruhme creates something extraordinary -- the album may speak the language of club music, but the music verges on feeling like songs. Is it techno pop? Pop techno? Pop ambient? Ambient pop?