Voices From The Lake – Velo Di Maya
With a live set that inspires feverish responses from any lucky enough to witness them, Donato Dozzy and Neel’s collaborative project is a celebration of everything the techno experience should be. Best heard on a loud soundsystem, constantly searching and surging forwards and avoiding staid rhythms, there’s an undeniable spiritual quality at work on anything the pair have turned their hands to, with their recorded offerings making a neat precursor to the chance to have them rain down upon you over a PA.
Recognising these qualities, the team at New York club The Bunker has made a wise choice in dedicating their third slab of wax to the Italian duo. As the back story goes, a six hour session of live sets and back-to-back DJing from Dozzy and Neel was the forerunner to this recording, where the pair took their favorite moments from their performance and faithfully reconstructed them in the studio to give rise to this EP. As such there’s a natural, live feel to the tracks as they fade in and out like snippets from a greater whole, no doubt in deference to the impetus with which the tracks were made.
Leading the charge is “Velo Di Maya”, as patient an exercise in electronic soul as you are ever likely to find. It’s not often the pad gets centre stage in a production, but here it sets the whole tone, filling every available space with its mournful three note call. The finest slithers of rhythmic guidance pulse around it, but there is ample time for a moody bass tone and more discernible drums to come sliding in later. Not that the track kicks off in any great fashion, but rather the beat quietly ushers itself in and sits down at the back, riding out for a good minute before you even notice its presence.
“Sentiero” shakes up the ambience of the EP with some more pronounced elements, drumming out a stern message with a tribal roll over a wraith-like back drop of high frequency yowls. The way the accents and emphasis on this loopy mantra fluctuate is a true testament to a pair of refined hands at the controls; it’s an easy sell for any lover of Dozzy’s trademark ‘wormhole techno’ sound. As a neat summation of what goes before, “Respiro Live Edit” channels the qualities of its two counterparts into a soaring slab of shamanistic deep techno. The pads inject the warmth, the offbeat bass growl locks you in, the fizzing noise rises and falls like the vacuum between conscious and unconsciousness, and yet the whole experience is utterly physical. Of course the muddy kick and gossamer hi-hat help with that aspect of the track, but it’s a testament to the force of the other elements that they seal the deal on this being a powerful dance track as well as a psychedelic incantation.
Where live techno can sometimes be criticised for its lack of movement and drama, this EP proves that in some instances it’s a far more relevant basis for the musical form, unearthing the original intention for the music to be felt in a physical space as much as listened to internally.
A1. Velo di Maya
B2. Respiro (live edit)