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Donato Dozzy & Neel - Voices from the Lake


In the 1990s, Richie Hawtin produced a groundbreaking series of minimal techno under the moniker Plastikman. Listening to these records today, it’s striking how fresh they still feel. It’s odd, then, that there is so little minimal techno produced these days that takes up the Plastikman tradition of deep, dark and slowed-down techno. Donato Dozzy & Neel, on their new album “Voice from the Lake,” have done just that, and like much of the best techno today, have mined the past to produce something original and compelling.

The album is, rather than a collection of individual songs, an extended, free-flowing performance. It begins with “Iyo,” a hypnotic track that’s refreshingly free of shuffle, bounce or quirky humour. As it evolves into “Vega” and then “Manuvex,” it evokes frozen plains, empty warehouses and endless roads at dawn. A second act of sorts comes with “Circe,” and the mesmerizing “S.T. –VFTL Rework,” which introduces listeners to their first melody, in the guise understated, casual bass synth funk. Around it, soft and warm synth pads swirl charismatically.


It ends too soon, which isn’t to say that the subsequent “Meikyu”-into-“In Giova” sequence is bad, just that it comes too quickly. If these, and “Twins in virgo,” came on any other album, I’d have been more enthusiastic; they’re just not of the same transcendent quality as the album’s first five tracks. “Mika” and album closer “HGS” though, bring us back to the pinnacle. Whereas much of “Voice from the Lake” conjures up a mythical vision of our ecology, withn these I found my thoughts drifting to the satellites pointed down at Earth. Though reality-as-science-fiction imagery was at one point a techno cliché, in the era of “too cool” minimal, it feels thoroughly refreshing.


All considered, “Voice from the Lake” is a must-have for anyone who misses the days when techno gave you visions of something other than skinny jeans and specific haircuts. It’s a really nice piece of music, one I’ll be listening to for years. Highly recommended.


Gustav Brown

Reader Comments (2)

It's Neel, not Nuel! Different people!

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStrange Signals

Oops - we've corrected that now.

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterBleep43

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