Of course, that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Technimatic's world of sumptuous orchestration is easy to get sucked into, and they've packed their dense arrangements with little instrumental flourishes. The duo mostly keep themselves grounded, like on the bell-heavy banger "Tectonic" or the gorgeous "Beneath The Skies," which sounds like an old film score rolled up into a drum & bass track. But sometimes Technimatic get carried away—for instance, by taking the plaintive beauty of "Beneath The Skies" and throwing in some cheesy vocals about the power of music. Other tracks, like "Music Is Music," "Imperfections" and "Like A Memory," suffer the same fate, as blandly soulful vocals detract from the otherwise careful arrangements.
The rest of the album redeems those missteps, succeeding especially when Technimatic go for broke. "Night Visions" is a rhapsodic endorphin overload in the vein of the Brookes Brothers' classic "Tear You Down," caning a filtered sample before letting the drums steamroll in for the album's only unrestrained moment. "Lost Times," meanwhile, finishes the LP with a welcome lashing of jungle breaks, hearkening back to the potent formula that the duo nailed with last year's Intersection EP. It's the best example of their Good Looking Records-influenced style, and it ends Desire Paths on a triumphant high note.
For a group obsessed with cultivating the smoothest sounds possible, it follows that Technimatic's album should be impeccably sequenced, too. They break up the flow of rollers with interludes and stylistic diversions, like the finger-snapping rhythms on "Innermost" or the funky guitar work on "Mucky Jeff." Professionally arranged and complete with a feel-good happy ending, Desire Paths is a lot like the Hollywood movies it takes so many sonic cues from: you may need to suspend disbelief to get past the over-the-top emotions, but the high production values make it worth a go.