Richard Devine :: Cautella (Sublight, CD)

1043 image 1(06.08.05) Many people find Devine’s music too cold, and they often ask fans if they really can distinguish one tune from another, because it’s all clicks and burps. Well, I can tell you I do distinguish tracks and, most notably, it happened to me twice to spot a wicked tune in a Devine live set and to desperately search for it until its release.

The first time I saw him in Milan, at the end of his speaker-crushing set he played “Rusx Fee,” for which I awaited nearly two years until Asect:Dsect was published. In 2003 I was in Rome and in the middle of his performance he dropped an insane acid piece, it was so incredible that even a friend of mine, who listens only to 80s techno, went totally nuts. Finally I can rinse this masterpiece in my stereo, it’s the magnificent “Arc-Acid,” track 4 of Cautella, that stands out easily among all this acid revival goin’ on these days. This track and “Sigstop” shows all the potential Devine can put into his music in terms of pure rave energy, updated to the year 2K5. They may seem intricate and harsh, but if you let them grow on your speakers, you’ll discover all the minute details, all the huge bass and even some hidden Detroit influences, like the double snare drum in “Arc-Acid.”

It’s a very varied album though, after an aggressive start it evolves into alien ambience territories, similar to the atmospheres of Aleamapper, full of sinister creaking’s and slower, subtler rhythms. Richard calms down until he reaches a warm lounge, with “Timach.” He unveils an easy listening side made of gentle breaks and relaxed synths that may be the main ingredients of his forthcoming album on Ghostly. After a short while we’re back into DSP madness, the collaboration with Otto Von Schirach is, as you’d expect, fast, frantic and mashed up. The Funkstorung remix didn’t impress me much instead, it turns “Sigstop” into a tepid track, in comparison with the original it sounds spoiled of its best elements.

If you like Devine this is definately a must have; there are 14 tracks, a couple of serious hits and many sparkling pieces. Planned for September there’s a luscious picture vinyl released in collaboration with Hymen featuring “Sigstop,” “Arc-Acid” (obviously), the Devine / Von Schirach combo and the Funkstorung remix.

Cautella is out now on Sublight.

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