It might be something of a misnomer to call Voices From The Lake’s near perfect self-titled album underrated, they did after all get voted the best electronic album of 2012 by Resident Advisor and receive an 8.2 from Pitchfork. Anything above an 8 on Pitchfork almost guarantees everyone will be talking about it, but this doesn’t seem to be the case for Voices From The Lake. It may not be that this album is underrated but rather it is unheard, something whispered between ambient electronica and techno fans. A masterpiece that no one wants anyone to know about.
This may be because the album feels so personal, like a whisper, like you are being told a secret. It feels so organic, similar in a way to Pantha du Prince’s Black Noise but less sparkly, more focused on the beats and slower burning.
The project is a collaboration between Italian techno supremo’s Donato Dozzy and Neel and it seems like every ounce of their passion and experience has been poured into this work of art. The album feels like a journey, as if it is telling us a story, a rhythmic plot. The different tracks lead into each other, it is near impossible to tell where each song starts and finishes, but it still seems like you are in a different place fifteen minutes later. I often read to this album and that may be because it is structured in a similar way to a book. There is a definite start, with the slow synth build of ‘Iyo‘ promising things to come and there is an end with the creepy haunted feel of ‘HGS‘.
If you refer to each song as a chapter then you could group every three or four chapters into acts. The songs in these acts work together to build to one peak moment, a bit of action that the previous music has left you excited for, knowing it is about to come. The best example of this is the stunning ‘S.T (V.F.T.L Rework)‘ a rework of a previously released Donato Dozzy track. The emergence of a pumping bassline and wavering melodic chord lines adds a warming emotional essence to an album that has previously felt quite cold but no less engrossing.
S.T. (V.F.T.L Rework)
The second climax occurs in ‘Twins In Virgo (Reprise)‘. A mysterious melodic but subdued bassline starts to move the album into its final act. The story is starting to end, becoming more dreamlike, more passive and eventually more organic.
This isn’t an album you can just jump into, listen to one song and move onto something else. You need to take your time with this music. You need to hear all the different layers and textures and understand the way it moves both emotionally and in time. Using techno as a basis this duo have made something so much more, something that will be remembered. This is modern classical music and a classic of our time.
Twins In Virgo (Reprise)
The whole album has been uploaded to youtube and you can hear it here. Definitely worth your time.
- Underrated: Classixx – Hanging Gardens (ohyouareill.wordpress.com)
- Donato Dozzy – Plays Bee Mask (thequietus.com)