The music of Donato Dozzy (real name: Scaramuzzi) has always had a perfect orbit. Its circulation draws an ellipse, its cadence is that of a precise rotation that always returns to the exact same point automatically and gracefully; in its own way, the techno he's been producing since 2004 is a kind of music of the spheres, the harmony of nature as a whole and cosmic transcendence. A veteran of minimal at this point, the Rumanian producer has gone through several stages in his career, and the present one isn't exactly his most active (there was a time he released an average of three good EPs a year, on now-defunct labels like Elettronica Romana, Lan Muzic, Orange Groove, and his own Dozzy Records, which lasted four titles), but at least he's never sounded more mature. While in the years past you could sense a unique potential in the hypnotic techno manufactured in Italy by a generation of producers that had survived Gaetano Parisio and Marco Carola's Neapolitan techno era by keeping an iron grip on the precepts of the post-Basic Channel sound, today we can finally pick the fruits of their efforts. At least, Dozzy's, who has recently finally taken the leap to the album format.
“Voices From The Lake” came about like most of his work: working with someone else; in this case, it was Neel (alias Giuseppe Tillieci, a debuting sound engineer with a past as a DJ), like in the past he's collaborated with Mike Parker, Giorgio Gigli, Brando Luppi, and Modern Heads. The change lies in the delicacy with which Dozzy now takes care of the atmospheres, the wrapping and the key: normally, his techno was like sandpaper sanding the dance floor with a precise beat and dry textures, but both “K” (his 'cosmic' album on Further Records in 2010) and this new one seem to have been made of water rather than volcanic magma. The fact that the project and the album are called “Voices From The Lake” (which seems to place us on a very Miyazaki-like stage, with nature spirits everywhere) stresses the wateriness of the sound, though that's not the only secret.
The key is, once more, in the circulation, the orbit, in the sound that goes around like an ellipse, easy and punctual, like an atomic clock. Of course, orbits never end, the rotation is permanent, and “Voices From The Lake”, though it's divided into eleven tracks, is actually a big 72-minute piece with subtle variations helping the movement – a spinning top movement, rotating (at more or less speed, depending on the moment in time) but never moving from its place or its rotating space. Therefore, the album sounds like the density of a deep lake: calm, without waves, clean and oxygenated, and with a greenish blue shine and a blurry optical distortion that accentuates the state of trance. The record starts very slowly, and then the first beat (the same beat that will always be there) comes in, after which the rest of the sounds unfold, like a long carpet. The nuances are minimal: a kind of cosmic melody on “S.T. (VFTL Rework)”, a sandier snare and more concise kick drum on “In Giova”, a more electro-like cadence and fuller bass line on “Twins In Virgo (Reprise)”, but the part going from “Iyo” to “HGS” hardly features any ups and downs or obstacles. The only thing it does is have you go under, come up and float on its waters.
“Voices From The Lake” is nothing new: there have been many records like this in the long tradition of European techno (listen to certain early titles by Vladislav Delay), and also in American techno (Mike Huckaby, of course), and long-time followers of Donato Dozzy know it's an extension of his work for years, a tour de force that was bound to culminate in an extremely refined piece of work. But regardless, his collaboration with Neel sounds more mature and graceful than he's ever done. This is an album to start listening to and not return to reality until it's finished: the headphones are like the oxygen cylinders that allow you to go to the bottom of this record, to stay there in peace, in a state of hypnosis. “Voices From The Lake” actually came out last February, but it's never too late to insist that this is one of the most magnetic electronic music albums of 2012.