Petar Dundov deals in a level of emotion usually reserved for peaktime trance tunes. Yet he remains a darling of the techno community, admired for his extravagant productions as much as his DJ sets. The reason is his combination of unpretentiousness and honesty. Last year's Ideas From The Pond, for instance, was approachable in spite of its epic scale. He's back just a year later with another record full of ten-minute sagas. Though it doesn't navigate very far from his past work, Sailing Off The Grid is full of the beautiful sounds and arresting melodies that mark his best music.
Dundov's secret is simplicity. The hooks are right out in front, and even if his songs sound huge, they're never too dense. "Moving" is a perfect example: its flowing arps, carefully morphing sheets of synth and robust rhythm section work together in tandem, never tripping over each other. The way Dundov manages and layers these elements is intuitive, as if they were turning malleable in the warmth of his hands. The next track, "Spheres," takes these same ideas and slows them down, laying them bare and letting them feel out the space around them. It's as recognizably Dundov as his last full-length, but altogether moodier and eerier.
As with Dundov's other albums, Sailing Off The Grid has a simple narrative, working up to a climax and letting us back down again. The rising action is a bit more intense than usual: the bright and brassy synth work on "White Spring" owes more than a little to Pink Floyd. Cinching the nautical theme, we get a trip to exotic climes with "Sur La Mer Avec Les Amis," which drifts peacefully as Dundov's melodic trademarks bubble up like froth in the surf. And by the time we reach the closing track, "Cradle," we're back on dry land. Three albums into his career, Dundov's sound is now more familiar than surprising, but in its own way that makes its beauty all the more moving.
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Tracklist: Petar Dundov - Sailing Off The Grid 01. Enter The Vortex
02. Yesterday Is Tomorrow
05. White Spring
06. Sailing Off The Grid
07. Sur La Mer Avec Mon Ami