Aroy Dee has long been one of the main European purveyors of deep, Detroit influenced techno – and on Lost Digits, he again reminds the listener why he has earned that distinction. Rather than set trends, Dee is an adept curator, keeping the torch lit for introspective, emotive techno music.
The title track is a classic case in point; Dee conjures up hushed chords over reverberated claps and hovering in the background is the kind of reversed vocal sample that featured heavily on tracks for the early Network compilations or slightly later on the A13 label. But Dee isn’t content to consign his music to a head-nodding context and perhaps his other most significant contribution is his joining up of techno soul with a raw reading on Chicago house. It’s audible on both “Belfast” and “Insolence”, where eerie sytnhs and widescreen soundscapes get cosy with rasping hats, plunging, grainy basslines and doubled-up claps. Of the two tracks, “Insolence” will shade it for DJs thanks to its spacious rhythm, but “Belfast” is more out there by dint of its dense groove and liquid, morphing arrangement.
Marcel Fengler also gets into the old school spirit for his version of the title track. Instead of stern industrial rhythms, the listener is presented with a rolling, filtered groove and building, layered synths – like vintage Stacey Pullen imagined through a streamlined European vision. At this rate they should just hand over the techno museum’s keys to Dee, its chief curator.
1. Lost Digits
3. Lost Digits (Marcel Fengler Emersion mix)