D.I.Y. is a treat, from its origami packaging to the obvious care and attention given to the music. The fourteen tracks are segued together in a loose sense, not like a DJ set but like a continuous work in progress. The whole effect is like an hour long head massage, as synthesized sounds drift in and out of focus, and subtle riffs rise from the depths.
The music ranges from easy going downtempo, as in the very opening, to solid, deep house. This is where Dousk really excels, with all the breakdowns placed perfectly and some real power in the chord progressions, particularly the anthemic ‘Espero Sun’, just about the pick of the album and a potential Balearic smash if ever there was one. The brooding ‘Chrysalis’ is already well known in the clubs and features a strong bass line, while ‘Sidewalk Lovin’’ is a strangely touching track with reminders of Jam & Spoon in the Japanese vocal.
While the uptempo tracks tend to fare better the balance is just right, the mood set for
nocturnal, widescreen listening. The plush sound effects may sound quite early 90s, but they are so incredibly well produced it’s impossible not to warm to them.
An ambitious debut album, then, at well over an hour, but this is clearly a man who’s learnt well from ‘ambient’ acts such as the Orb, as well as more uptempo material such as early Paul Van Dyk. As a smoky chillout album, D.I.Y. is well nigh perfect.