Gui Boratto: III (Kompakt)
I was delighted to hear that Senhor Boratto had a new full-length imminent. I picked up his The Drill 12" a couple months ago not realizing that it was a lead-in for this new album. My overall impression of III is that it’s much stronger than his previous full-length. It showcases Boratto’s talents as a producer without trying to focus so much on the pop crossover appeal that made “Beautiful Life” such a surprise hit on his debut album for Kompakt, Chromophobia. So in a way then III exemplifies both Boratto himself and Kompakt in general at their best, not afraid to get tracky and spacious, but not without hooks and some commercial appeal. The art direction alone points toward the darker tinge of this album, eschewing the technicolor photography of Take My Breath Away and substituting the vivid colorforms of Chromophobia with plain, flat black and simply the title. Even when Boratto gets a bit more song-leaning, tracks like “Striker” are still bold and a bit dark, using gated drums and bass guitar to good effect. As I wrote about before, “The Drill” packs a punch and is one of the heavier-handed tracks on the album, but again, it suits the darker tone of the album overall. “Flying Practice” is a nice gloomy, shimmering track that really takes off when a lovely string arrangement enters. Many of III’s tracks walk the line between melancholy tech house and something a bit darker, more forceful, without ever tipping fully into one or the other. “Soledad” is one of the more elegant moments, while “The Third” is another almost elegiac track. The most straightforward song is last, “This Is Not The End,” a vibrant slab of optimism that is perfectly positioned as an uplifting finale to an otherwise somewhat dark affair. Luciana Villanova reprises her role as vocalist (appearing on all of his albums on at least one or two tracks each) and offers a glimmer of hope to round out the album. It’s another solid entry from Boratto, possibly his best to date.
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