Reggie Dokes, Rain Redemptive Love EP

[Philpot]


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Once again Philpot has delivered a distinctive record with its latest release which comes from Reggie Dokes, a relative unknown whose bio touts his connection to Detroit techno and Derrick May. Although hearing about Motor City pedigrees has become a bit boring, it is interesting and a little sad to hear just how distinctive the modern Detroit sound is compared to that of the European bozos who put out flaccid imitations of it. Although Dokes, the owner of Psychostasia Records, doesn’t have the mastery of his peers in the FXHE crew, his “Rain Redemptive Love EP” offers just as much unique personality. “Love” is a skeleton of off-kilter drums that open a huge amount of sonic space — so much so it sounds more like a break-beat made straight than anything else. Filling and even overflowing the broad scaffolding those drums erect are a variety of organic strings that go for broke melodically. “Love” keeps it short and sweet at barely four minutes of playing time (minus the intro and outro), but every moment is packed to the gills with pomp and yearning.

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The rest of the tracks are more muted versions of the same idea. “Rain On Me” combines a gorgeous bouncing beat with a plundering bass line before being lost in overwrought piano/bassoon/whatever excess. “Black Children of the Ghetto” is much more restrained, meaning the vivid percussion is allowed to shine through. It’s a downcast affair, but its mood doesn’t feel persuasive in the end. That being said, “Love” is really something. Whether Dokes’ big, gauche melodrama on vinyl leaves you aching for banging techno tightness or singing along, there can be no doubt he’s swung for the fences on “Rain Redemptive Love EP.” A random sampling of his discography to date finds him to be an erratic producer at best, but here’s hoping this is a breakout record for him. Such a breakout would emphasize the relevance of energetic statements of emotion in dance music. In this way, despite its flaws, “Rain Redemptive Love” has put its finger on something absent in many records this year.

Scott  on December 2, 2008 at 8:47 PM

His record label is called Psychostasia ….not Psychosomatic.

littlewhiteearbuds  on December 2, 2008 at 8:51 PM

Noted; thanks.

tom/pipecock  on December 2, 2008 at 11:44 PM

i’ve been a big reggie dokes fan for almost 6 years, basically since the first time i heard one of his tracks. to me, he might be the best producer out of Detroit right now (even though he isnt currently residing there) and really, in the world. i really love theo and omar-s and lots of other guys, but i listen to reggie dokes albums way more than any of those other cats and i drop one of his tracks basically in every set i play. the guy is ridiculous, his style is so advanced that people still havent figured out how to bite him. this EP is pretty obviously the best EP of this year and “the skin i’m in” was one of the best tracka of last year. he actually seems to be getting better! i definitely wouldn’t call him “erratic”, in fact i cant think of a single track he’s done that isn’t at least interesting if not awesome.

it’s good that this release is getting him some props on a large scale, but just wait: in a couple more years people will finally be ready for his music.

Will Lynch  on December 3, 2008 at 10:55 AM

‘black children of the ghetto’ is my favorite, but I’m a sucker for subtle and trippy tracks…

rabs  on December 4, 2008 at 6:54 AM

great one!

Will Lynch  on December 4, 2008 at 7:35 PM

ok I change my mind… “love” is the bomb…

Si  on December 5, 2008 at 4:47 AM

Love is an absolute blinder

alex  on December 7, 2008 at 1:06 PM

great track…have had a soft spot for this guy for a while…

but the only master at fxhe is alex omar s.

dokes’ stuff reminds me of poetry more than techno…

in this track, the way the drums come in at first before the strings do is slightly troubling, but the rest of the track is worth it.

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