Giorgio Gigli & Obtane: Review

Giorgio Gigli & Obtane: A Sad Wandering Dreamer Trapped In Contemporary Memory Architectures

Sometimes techno titles are totally irrelevant to the sounds and some producers even prefer simply to use “Untitled” or A1, B1 etc. In the case of this new release from the thoughtful Italian producers Giorgio Gigli and Obtane the title is a declaration of intent.

Narrative techno is unusual and doesn't always work

The release is unusual in that it's telling a story of “a sad wanderer who is trying to find the path to personal truth. Outside, a desolate scenario of modern architectures of cold glass, standing (sic) to the edge of horizon. A wonderland of mirrors and empty landscapes: the triumph of solitude.” Narrative techno is unusual and doesn't always work, but even if the music doesn't literally relate to the ideas it does convey a suitably desolate air of determination and linear progress appropriate to theme of the release.

Perhaps it also refers to the inevitably alienated position of any sensitive/politically aware techno producer/DJ/critic in love with the advanced music around him, but unable to block out awareness of the increasingly dystopian nature of 21st Century reality as represented by seductively cold corporate buildings and the horrors they contain. This is a welcome contrast to professional but soulless lifestyle techno concerned only with keeping the party going regardless of wider events.

seductively cold corporate buildings and the horrors they contain

This isn't an argument for suspending partying for the duration of the crisis, but music that also makes you think and question is sorely needed. Finally here's a release from a techno producer that allows no illusions about the spiritual and techno-political bleakness of the times.

The sounds are described as “future tech-noir” and match the grey, metallic tones of the well-designed artwork. 'Theory of Radical Structures' is a suitably cinematic eleven minute plus epic. It's a linear track with strong momentum that becomes increasingly dark. Cold drones and fine sonic details unfold gradually but determinedly and it does fit the type of images suggested by the EP's concept.

as deep, icy and ominous as you'd expect from Orphx

Next comes a mix by Canadian industrial/techno duo Orphx, who are currently releasing quite a few techno remixes. This version is as deep, icy and ominous as you'd expect from Orphx and makes for some intriguingly uneasy (but still groove-based) listening. The beatless closing track 'Patterns of Behaviour' is the darkest, most cinematic and probably the most impressive, venturing into dark ambient territory far from workaday techno templates.

Based on this release the Zooloft label has a strong potential to take techno into places not all of its listeners will wish to go to and that's definitely a tendency to be supported.

On Zooloft.

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