Seeing ‘with Donato Dozzy’ attached to the first track on this debut album from Marco Shuttle, I absolutely had to listen. As a total unknown to me, the bespoke surrealism of the cover art caught my eye, but Dozzy grabbed my attention. As half of Voices From The Lake and an incredible techno artist in his own right, this guy will always deserve my time.
Featuring on this album is an endorsement that’s paid off handsomely. This is one of the best albums of 2015 so far. The best news is that the entire thing is streaming free:
Just, wow. I love Donato Dozzy and everything he touches, but I never expected to hear him associated with a guy who’s inadvertently soundtracking that heart-ripping-out scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Pried open with a slow motion drone tumble, the album kicks off in spectacularly ominous fashion. The cavernous sound would feel right at home on the Modern Love imprint, as a close cousin to Demdike Stare in their rhythmic moments. There’s a primal undercurrent at play here, soaking the beats in atavistic decay.
As the tracks progress, a heavy momentum kicks everything up a notch. The dread remains, yet creeps into a muted frenzy as the pace quickens. This is techno as a death march, stomping panic underfoot before emerging into brighter timbres in the album’s second half.
I feel like I’m giving the impression that this music is scary. It might be spooky at a glance, but it’s definitely not the howling-existential-panic I’ve plumbed the depths of in the past. There’s a buoyancy and charm to the mix, shining through in the handcrafted nuance of these songs. There’s the very fact that it never drops completely into a droning abyss; the beat always remains within arm’s reach. This is certainly not club material, but it is resolutely not a soundtrack for laying in bed all day. I’m going to listen on my commute to work tomorrow, and the rest of the week, I’m sure.
You should already be listening by now, so I’ll stop with the description and simply state that this was such a pleasant surprise to find in the throes of another frozen January. Like Andy Stott, Actress, Burial, and Shackleton before him, Marco Shuttle has managed to lift my seasonal spirits with music that’s somehow both wholly appropriate for nighttime blizzards and meditative daydreams.