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Album Reviews: Gui Boratto and Pantha du Prince

Posted by Ryan Lowe on March 22, 2007

Gui Boratto – Chromophobia (Kompakt)

By Ryan Lowe

ChromophobiaFor a lot of people, techno is a really really dirty word. It brings to mind a range of different things, everything from the stylings of a one C+C Music Factory in the early 90’s, to Madonna’s recent music. Regardless of public perception, it represents a shit ton of really interesting and artfully crafted music, great for home listening, or for dancing to in the club. It also represents a shit ton of terrible, campy, and mindless music, but every genre has its good and bad. With the new Gui Boratto album, no matter what your perception of “techno” music is, you will find something to enjoy, as long as you are not completely averse to electronic music (which actually, many are, you purist assholes)

Some of these tracks (Scene 1, Xilo) would fit alongside well with Nathan Fake on the Border Community label, paying a little less attention to beats, and more to the specific sounds themselves, which often have quite organic timbres. There’s plenty of the driving minimal techno that Boratto is known for here, and it rarely slips into the droll lifelessness that minimal is often associated with, opting for heavier grooves. ‘Acrostico’ and ‘Mala Strana’ are composed using electronics, but certainly don’t sound like techno music. Many techno artists’ interlude tracks such as these sound like techno artists trying for something more natural and coming up short, whereas Boratto sounds as if he has mastered this genre as well. ‘Acrostico’ in particular is gorgeous, its synths sounding as if they are just waking up for the day. Out of nowhere is ‘Beautiful Life,’ an impossibly euphoric synth-pop song, which doesn’t really sound like anything else on the album, but its inclusion near the end of the album makes for a rousing climax. With vocals provided by Gui Boratto’s wife, this is one not to miss, whatever your musical predilections are. Most techno artists rely on the 12″ rather than artist albums, but like Booka Shade last year, Gui Boratto has made a whole album worth of solid tracks, definitely no throwaway material. Ditch your synthesizer repulsion and pick this album up, stat.

Score: 9 out of 10

Pantha du Prince – This Bliss (Dial)

This Bliss Continuing with the theme of techno that is on the melodic and pretty side, instead of the raw and nasty sort, is Pantha du Prince’s (Hendrik Weber) new album, This Bliss. As expected off of Lawrence’s Dial label, this is very elegant techno, puncuated by the sweeping strings and soft and drawn out synths found on much of the album. The best example of this beauty is surely ‘Saturn Strobe,’ one of the most gorgeous techno tracks I’ve ever heard. Very epic, and the beats and bells in the background prevent this song from delving into heavy-handedness. The next couple songs are a little more rocking, which is a welcome addition after the cinematic first two songs. On ‘Urlichten,’ he finds a meeting point between deep bass grooves and soft melodicism. The rest of the album is more of the same, and levels off a bit towards the end, but is a consistenly enjoyable listen nonetheless. I recommend this album. For home listening, background music, whatever you want. Its purty.

Score: 8 out of 10

Look for songs from both of these albums coming up in a Headless Ponch DJ podcast!

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