RICARDO VILLALOBOS //

DEPENDENT AND HAPPY (Perlon)

15/20

A new release from Ricardo Villalobos is usually sprung upon you with little or no PR weight thrown behind it. So our eyes lit up when an hour and 41 minutes of fresh experimental electronica from one of music’s most singularly uncompromising characters suddenly appeared before us. The other thing to note here is there was no way of knowing that Dependent And Happy was, in fact, experimental electronica prior to listening to it. Villalobos’ last effort was a beat-less double disc of reinterpreted classical music, so it felt as if anywhere he went from there would have seemed totally logical. As it stands, the polarising and revered techno figurehead has set down his stall smack bang in the middle of his two guises – the oddball innovator and one of the genre’s most interesting DJs. Grumax could easily be a start of set dance floor menacer, as could following track I’m Counting, all windy percussion and odd vocal samples. Yet just when you think the Chilean has made his most linear effort to date, he throws in Zuipox, an indescribable 14-minute exploration. It’s this contrast that sums up a varied, long and above all highly intriguing effort. We wouldn’t have him any other way.

 

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Words: Thomas Frost

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