Kirk Degiorgio, Flote EP

[Flying Donkey Music]

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Kirk Degiorgio is British, but I always associate his intricately arranged techno-funk with Detroit: all it took was one visit to the town in the early ’90s for Degiorgio to sell off his record collection to finance the beginnings of his production setup. Not surprisingly, the city’s signature forward movement lies at the root of his music. Degiorgio also calls to mind Carl Craig, his ’90s techno peer and a releaser and remixer of his work. The association isn’t exactly the most flattering one for Craig, whose own music, as the 2000s clicked on, grew direct to the point of being a little insulting to his back catalog. Degiorgio, who prefers a denser but not necessarily bigger sound than Craig, has perhaps surprisingly kept the fire pretty well lit; his choice reissue last year of his earliest 12″ under his own name, “Nairobi,” shows that the distance between vintage Degiorgian techno and his newer material is far less yawning a gap than it could be.

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Yet I was a bit concerned about where 2011 might be taking one of the most dependably groovy elder statesmen in the game after my first listen or two to the Flote EP, Degiorgio’s latest for the fledgling Flying Donkey Music imprint. (Oddly disturbing YouTube reference or not, it’s probably not the greatest new label name of the year.) That density I mentioned earlier — like some sonic interior designer, Degiorgio has a knack for picking just the right sound to fill even the most difficult space — very nearly explodes on a number of occasions here. But a few more listens showed me Degiorgio has once again managed to rein it in enough to deliver something sweet, not saccharine. The margin is widest on “Amongst the Olive Trees” and “Flote,” which move from expansive slam to focused thump with veteran deftness; while undoubtedly big-room, they seem to know just what such a room needs. “Raised On Analog” ups the ante somewhat, recalling the flamboyance of Future Beat Alliance’s recent work for Tresor. The track, neon and seizure-inducing, certainly gets all up in your grill, but there’s still art in this slight violation of your personal space: listen closely between blasts for subtle, chilly synth lines only Degiorgio would think to place there. The EP’s remixes do a fine job of tidying up this Degiorgian odyssey. Conforce, who really upped his game on last year’s Grace EP for Delsin, comes away with the win, molding “Amongst the Olive Trees” into stately, stealthy dub techno that sounds almost nothing like the original. Abstract Souls’ “Raw Reconstruction Mix” of “Flote,” a heady, pilled-out techno massage, similarly bears little resemblance to its source material. Why even try to sound like Kirk Degiorgio, though? The Flote EP proves his is a style best handled with care, and I’m not sure I’d trust it in anyone else’s hands.

Chief Thomson  on January 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM

gar nicht mal so schlecht, ein wenig guter alter acid rein, schön minimal gehalten, gefällt mir.

Spons  on January 31, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Quality as usual. Favorite is probably conforce’s edit. But every track delivers.

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