Dumb Unit Promo - Release Text:
Dumb-Unit is proud to present the debut artist album from acclaimed Argentinian producer, Seph. A core artist on the Dumb Unit roster since 2006, Seph’s intricate, intelligent style of techno has consistently impressed fans of forward thinking electronic music, with his exceptional sound design skills gaining him a devoted a cult following across a wide range of scenes and subgenres.
The culmination of two years’ work, Alquimia (meaning ‘alchemy’ in English) sees Seph building on the constrained abstractions of his previous work, harnessing a wide range of styles, ideas and moods across ten varied yet coherent
tracks. As its title suggests, there’s an alchemy at work here - a mysterious blend of disparate ingredients, selected and refined by Seph to create a full length work that consistently beguiles and bedazzles, operating both at the heart of the
dancefloor, and far beyond it, too.
The ominous beatless chimes of intro cut ‘Lemon Hideout’ open Alquimia with a touch of noir-ish suspense, gently cascading across layers of hissing static, but never quite settling where they should. These eventually drift into the
logarithmic sturdiness of ‘Alquimia’, a sleek, club-friendly track centered around a churning mid-range and taut, propulsive percussion. ‘361 Grados’ and ‘Runas’ (the latter produced with Pablo Denegri) delve deeper still, wrapping
those distant, unsettled chimes around kinetic grooves and murky sub-bass manoeuvres. The crisp, dynamic slam of ‘Cerezas’ breaks out of the foggy limbo at halfway point, snapping back into action over the course of ten unpredictable,
constantly morphing minutes. Bubbling bass, submerged vocals, distant keys and a rock-solid groove all come together to create what for many will be the album’s peak-time high point.
From here, Seph steps beyond the floor with the lush slo-mo syncopation of ‘Vodkrens’, the track that formed the initial inspiration for Alquimia’s more abstract directions. Built around a ghostly, almost eastern-tinged melody, it recalls the
futuristic mysticism of ‘Spanners’-era Black Dog, re-imagined in Seph’s sharp, hyper-modern style. ‘Esmeraldas’, the result of studio session with regular collaborators Qik and Dilo, adopts a swung out schaffel structure as a platform for plaintive melodic twinkles and a weirdly surging bass growl, before the straight ahead punch of live-set highlight ‘Casualidad’ brings the listener back to the club with a bang.
As the album enters its final phase, Seph retreats into contemplative mode, with the achingly delicate polyrythmic tone poetry of ‘Log 2’ closing out the album in breathtaking fashion. And finally, Seph returns to those mysterious chimes we
heard at the outset, in the haunting outro cut ‘El Arroyo Del Elfo’.
It’s a fitting ending; after over 70 dreamlike minutes in Seph’s world, we return to the beginning, to the unsolved fictions and intangible alchemy of this complex, emotive, and deeply personal work. Taken as a whole, Alquimia is set to be one of the landmark electronic albums of 2010, offering the fullest, most thrilling realization to date of this unique producer’s extraordinary talent.
- Techno Electronic