Half-time mind-melters on Neel and Donato Dozzy's label.
The Devil's Curators Vol. 1, the 20th release on the label, is the first in a three-part series. Its best tracks are intensely hypnotic jams with a half-time pulse—the kind, you imagine, Dozzy relished mixing into jungle or drum & bass. (Of course, the Italian also has his own version.) The opener, "Chronogram," is a maelstrom of sunless synths and metronomic pulses, the musical equivalent of staring at one of those black-and-white-spiral GIFs. "The Demon's Platform" and "The Melting Mask" are more, for want of a better word, groovy, with bleepy flickers and warped tones forming dank, lurching rhythms that trap you like a spiderweb. Turned up loud, their effect is transcendental.
The remaining two tracks are straighter, albeit hovering around 110 BPM. The better one, "Living Colossus," plods along just below, all ghostly grunting and chirpy ripples. The bass hangs thick. Very little happens—some fresh snares, the odd pause—but it sucks you in. "Grey Morph" is a tad faster and more direct, the only thing on here resembling a banger, which smudges its appeal. Still, it's extremely compelling techno. No wonder Dozzy was so keen.