Datach'i
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

10110101 , 7/10
We Are Always Well Thank You , 7/10
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Datach'i is New York-based enfant prodige of drum'n'bass Joseph Fraioli, who debuted with 10110101 (Caipirinha, 1999), a set of chaotic high-speed digital novelties. The collection is as programmatic as Brian Eno's Before And After Science was at the beginning of (popular) electronic music: from Deconstructing Man to Piecing It Back Together, Fraioli casually drops the commentary to his own art while summarizing and compressing the history of electronic music, from "musique concrete" to drum'n'bass, in 13 short pieces. With (Leonard Park, Take Off Your Face) or without (VCR Powered Carcass, Jaf Box) melody, Fraioli's "songs" explain much of what modern harmony is about the way The Art Of The Fugue explained Bach's.

The aesthetics of 10110101 solidified into a mature style on We Are Always Well Thank You (Caipirinha, 2000). The hyper-kinetic pandemonium of Free In A Box that opens the album and the free-form barrage of Klahtmies His childish nature is still evident in Merrily We Roll Along, with a solemnly cheesy organ melody, in the munchkins march on Welcome to the Jackalope (vaguely reminiscent of the Kwai Bridge theme), in the cartoonish ballet of Animals Are Coming, but a somber mood permeates the album. His wild rhythmic experiments are often immersed in atmospheres that are both ethereal and sinister, and the feeling of alienation is enhanced by melodies that have been fractured, twisted, dislocated.
The emotional center of the album hides probably below the intricate electronic percussive texture of Uma is Dead: a disturbingly deformed keyboard elegy met by a concerto of disjointed industrial beats. The shrill electronic chirping of Cold Shift reveals a piano-based melody that is almost new age music, thereby contrasting vividly the comic and tragic elements of Datach'i's art. How central and serious that juxtaposition is one can infer from We Are Always Well Thank You, that lays voices of children at play and a music-box melody over a frantic polyrhythm the way a psychotic killer would.
After so much rhythmic loquacity, Clownman, a track with no rhythm, sounds like a melancholic meditation on the human condition, scored for dissonances and odd noises. And the album ends with What It Is, that lulls another majestically dejected melody (the rhythm stops abruptly as if the machine broke down, and what is left is only the melody, slowly dispersing in the emptiness).
Fewer nods to Autechre make it for a more personal experience, although take away some of the debut's emotional depth.
By arranging the chaos in Morton Subotnick's primeval electronic suites, Datach'i has found a new way to reveal the universe of our emotions to ourselves.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Alessandra DeAngelis)

Con We Are Always Well Thank You (Caipirinha, 2000) l'enfant prodige del drum'n bass di New York, John Fraioli, sforna un'altra serie di caotici ritmi high-speed (Free In A Box, Merrily We Roll Along). L'estetica dell'album dello scorso anno, 10110101 (Caipirinha, 1999), si rafforzata in uno stile maturo. Meno accenni ad Autechre lo avvicinano ad una esperienza piu' personale, nonostante tolgano un po' della profondita' emozionale del debutto. 7/10

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