The album is too good to consign to the heap of projects I've abandoned due to my digressions (the compost heap's compost heap - a spongy grey place where you'll find a half-read copy of Don Quixote sandwiched between a partially dismantled Rubix Cube and a Pokemon Silver cartridge for the Nintendo DS), so I'll post a few short words about it now.
the lads would eat gelatos beside the lake as teenagers, dreaming of the day they'd get a 5/5 review on Resident Advisor
Voices from the Lake is a collaboration between two Italian techno producers I previously knew little about, Donato Dozzy and Neel. Dozzy's background is in trance-like techno that takes the scenic route, whereas Neel, as far as I can tell, is just some dude (I'm kidding: he's probably great, but I just never heard of him).
The album is a study in refined ambience. It is a techno slow-burn that moves incrementally, steadily, through curtains of shifting texture and percussion, preparing the listener for moments when it seems to open up entirely, most strikingly on S.T. (Vftl Rework) where a few judiciously deployed synth chords (mentioned elsewhere) feel so grand and spacious, that to experience them in the context of the slow build that comes before them, is like looking out over a hopscotch pattern in the sky, illuminating itself, one box at a time, towards heaven.
It's clichéd to talk about techno sets, albums, or mixes as being journeys, but I'm gonna put up my hands and say I can't think of a more suitable analogy to describe this album. The trajectory of the mix (and it builds seamlessly) is a succession of gentle ascents towards sweeping plateaus, where interlocking percussive elements writhe across the illusive depth created by the synthesizers. All this is tied in with a loose 'lake' concept that is first suggested on the album's opener 'Iyo' and reinforced time and again by the aforementioned sense of surface patterns moving across depths.
I listen to this album going to sleep a lot, and a friend of mine recently told me on twitter that he does too. I think that taps into its core function. It is a cool and detached thing of beauty, designed to be contemplated as such. It's an exploration of sonic depth and temporal processes for the mind to get lost in and, on the subject of temporal processes, it is unquestionably an elegant experiment in time manipulation (which is what a lot of dance music is about - the hunt for that 'everlasting moment' people sometimes experience at the peak of a DJ set, that sense of stepping outside of time).
Over to you jury people: Voices from the Lake is in a phrase... (what is it?)... it is, quite simply, beautiful music.
MP3: Voices From the Lake (Featuring Donato Dozzy and Neel)-Vega