Painting by Mark Love Joy
“Vaporware is a term in the computer industry that describes a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually released nor officially cancelled. Vaporware is also a term sometimes used to describe events that are announced or predicted, never officially cancelled, but never intended to happen.”
Thankfully, Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask fits neither description. It’s one of those meetings of minds that makes enough sense to seem inevitable. Bee Mask, the peddler of out-there, neo-kosmische synth music sends his “Vaporware” over to Italy for the Dozzy treatment, resulting in seven versions that fit together quite nicely as an album. Dozzy is the current cult techno figure, and to those initiated, everything he creates is manna. His long-players edge towards the sublime, but rarely has he indulged quite like he has here. It seems in reworking someone else’s material he found complete freedom to do what he want — a sentiment all too understandable given his source material’s bounty of ideas.
Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask, “Vaporware 05″
Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask has a hypnotic, circular structure: it begins with the recognizable arpeggiated bells of “Vaporware,” slowly refracts and dismantles them in further out-there versions, and then brings them back into full focus at the end. Whereas the original “Vaporware” was a long-form, ever-mutating jam, each of Dozzy’s iterations instead grabs an idea and hones in on it for a couple of minutes. “Vaporware 01″ starts softly with the sound of rain and lets the bells waltz with the raindrops. “Vaporware 02″ proceeds to trip out amidst tape-echo soundscapes, while “Vaporware 03″ lays out stuttering voices that seem to be constantly, rhythmically shifting. “Vaporware 04″ is where things start to get serious — a psychedelic technoid excursion that, in true Dozzy fashion, plunges deeper and deeper into hypnosis with every measure.
The suite climaxes with the incredible, elegiac ambiance and prodding bass line arpeggios of “Vaporware 05.” If ever there were a gateway drug or initiation ritual to the cult of Dozzy, “Vaporware 05″ would be it; even those not perpetually consuming Dozzy material like lotus-eaters will find themselves in awe of its glacial pace and radiant harmonies. “Vaporware 06″ feels like a come-down, and with “Vaporware 07″ we end up back (near) where we started. The bells ring out triumphantly, their harmonies, aided and abetted by supporting strings and synths, get more potent by the minute, and when it all fades away your most pressing concern is to relive it. Given the circular structure of Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask, it would be only fitting to bring it right back to the beginning, looping the record ad infinitum (or at least until the lotus wears off).