Donato Dozzy & Nuel :: The Aquaplano Sessions (Spectrum Spools)

Over the course of its eight Aqua-referencing tracks, Dozzy and Nuel resuscitate the spirits of Ambient Techno with a craft rarely seen in an age of fad gadgetry and bandwagon-jumping.

Material retrieved from the near-past from Italian techno specialist, Donato ‘Dozzy’ Scaramuzzi–recently dubbed one of ‘three lynchpins of contemporary Italian techno,’ (cf. Dino Sabatini and Giorgio Gigli)–assisted by Nuel (Manuel Fogliata). First released between 2007-2009 on their own short-lived label, the original 12″s (Aquaplano 000 and Aquaplano 1111) took on cult classic status. Long since sold out, glimpsed only for silly money on discogs and auction sites, reclamation comes now through Dozzy’s connection with Spectrum Spools, cf. the acclaimed Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask (no. 3 in RA’s best of 2013), who now re-assemble the EP tracks across a double-vinyl LP, The Aquaplano Sessions.

The EPs emerged in 08-09, unaligned with any notional techno mainstream. With mnml’s eclipse, certain producers affiliated with Berghain and Sandwell District had scanned through the ’90s for a spark to light the techno torch anew. Aquaplano’s tracks had similarly lower bpms, though their influences diverged, tapping tribal rhythms and ambient sonorities for a headier psychoactive blend–a felicitous encounter between trance-inducing hip-gnosis and glazed atmospheres. They converged with then-emergent variants promulgated by kindred spirits like Cio D’Or and Mike Parker, contributing, however unwittingly, to preparing the way for a strain that’s gained currency lately, cf. the acclaim for Dozzy’s Voices from the Lake with Neel, not to mention other fellow-travelers in post-headf**kery, Claudio PRC, Milton Bradley and other Prologue types. The Aquaplano Sessions are one part ambient soundscape two parts techno, both style templates discernible–deep kick-drum thud infused with more organic percussives. First platter resurrects 000‘s four cuts, now “Aqua 1-4,” ranging from low-end throbbers to slow-mo psy-chillers, acidic grinders and tribal wig-outs; the second renews 1111‘s quartet, with “Aqua 5-8” shifting from glassine beatless tracts to more mesmeric movements–a set of potent hypno-drone for home headspace or DJ kicks.

Overall, then a canny move on the part of Spectrum Spools to reissue these pieces, emblematic as they are of a now-voyaging techno tenor. Over the course of its eight Aqua-referencing tracks, Dozzy and Nuel resuscitate the spirits of Ambient Techno with a craft rarely seen in an age of fad gadgetry and bandwagon-jumping. Italians may not do it better, but they definitely do it with distinction.

The Aquaplano Sessions is available on Spectrum Spools.

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