Sunday, March 08, 2009

Optimo - Sleepwalk

As far as DJ collections go, this one couldn't be further from the norm. There's nothing in here that resembles nowadays definition of "dance music", nor is this also your average chill-out selection. Instead what we get is a key to enter a parallel universe, one that follows a particular mood/atmosphere and then explores it, throwing in a lot of different sounds and names to defy expectations in an almost subtle way. And as far as definitions go, you can identify krautrock, country-soul, anti-folk, bluegrass, spiritual jazz, industrial blisses or obscure ambient tracks, and names like Coil, Tuxedomoon, Cluster, Eno, Arthur Russell or Duke Ellington. But what matters is how everything was put together in a very cohesive way, to reach a higher purpose: building a subterranean journey that really wants to tell a story. This sort of goal is actually what every DJ should aim for, and with "Sleepwalk", this Glasgow-based duo has done just that. Truth to be told, not everything is flawless, as the dark drones and dreamy ambient tones of the first half work much better than the eclectic twists of the more-upbeat second half. But even that doesn't spoil the overall impression: more than a mixtape, what we have in here is a blur of abstract and slightly creepy musical beauty, aimed for the mind. (7,5/10)

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