Dusty Kid: A Raver's Diary

Dusty Kid's debut album A Raver's Diary starts with “Here Comes the Techno” so you know immediately where Paolo Alberto Lodde's sympathies lie (another of his equally unabashed tracks is titled “I Love Richie Hawtin”). In keeping with that declarative, manifesto-like opener, the Italian producer (and one-half of Duoteque) shows no reservations about asserting his love for the genre, no matter how fashionable or unfashionable it may be at the moment. Though the seventy-eight-minute A Raver's Diary truly does wear its heart on its sleeve, it's also considerably more than a non-stop exercise in clubby delirium, as its most ambitious piece “America” ultimately makes clear.

“Here Comes the Techno” rises above its adherence to a resolutely “old-school” techno style by the sheer force of energy and enthusiasm. There's no doubting Lodde's love for the genre when the tune's slamming beats and dizzying, wind-up melodies come into view. The track churns for a precision-tooled seven minutes before bleeding without interruption (a move Lodde repeats throughout) into the equally roaring “The Underground Persistence” before the quasi-Minus antics—think brain-addling synth ostinati and churning bass swarm—of “Lynchesque” take over. Naturally that level of frenetic intensity subsides somewhat—and not unwelcomingly—as we move into the middle of the recording and confront the prog-techno of “Cowboys” with its strutting groove and organ soloing; at ten minutes, the track's long enough to accommodate a late inning breakdown where dusty, guitar-like melodies hint that the song title's not ill-chosen, but really a better title in this case would be “Kosmische.” “Moto Perputuo,” with its glistening helixes, perpetuates the languorous vibe after which the gyroscopic “The Fugue” and the club-ready tribal raver “Pluk” initiate the upward ascent all over again.

But undoubtedly A Raver's Diary's biggest surprise and coup de grace is “America” which spreads its jubilant wings for seventeen royal minutes. In an apparent nod to trance-techno, tremolo guitars twang and synths whistle over an insistent base that pulsates and surges by turn. Frequent breakdowns occur throughout the remarkable composition, suggestive of brief pit-stops taken by visitors to survey the sprawling landscape before the bus once again resumes its cross-country tour to eventually reach the morning splendour of “Agaphes.” The album ends rather startlingly too, with “Nemur” a four-minute pop song featuring acoustic guitars and even a (passable) vocal turn. Dusty Kid's album may start out as a pure exercise in clubby techno but ultimately shows itself to be considerably more multi-dimensional.

May 2009