DJ F is Spain's Flavio Tortora, whose past productions for the likes of Semantica have tended towards gaseous dub techno. Recently, though, he's taken a turn for the lo-fi, and this latest EP, for young Madrid imprint AHD, contains his most original and compelling work to date. Transformación draws on vintage Detroit techno and Drexciyan electro to create the kind of gloomy machine soul that can sound fatally anemic in the wrong hands. Fortunately for Tortora, these productions' fragility is their strength, their blurred, dreamlike pads and spindly melodies carrying a surprising emotional weight.
The title track is electro slowed to the gentlest head-nod, its reedy arpeggios intertwining under occasional swells of Detroit pads. Details accrue steadily—tinny claps, reverbed synthetic flourishes—but Tortora resists the temptation to make bold gestures, instead leaving us hanging in affable stasis. "True Love" opts for a more strident percussive palette, but with more soft-edged elements. Metallic dub chords are given an outing, before we're dropped into delicate space, just a single synth stuttering away under a canopy of clicks and bleeps. "Preludio," though, is the real highlight, doing away with the drums altogether to ruminate on those atmospherics in all their woozy glory. Bright, scintillating arpeggios then swoop in for a twinkling finale.
Tracklist: DJ F - TransformaciónA Transformacion
B2 True Love