Let me preface this a bit, just a little bit. Have you ever spoken to people who listen to electronic music and who seem to have such a, for lack of a better word, pretentious stand on it? This can be seen from two sides: the side that listens to only club standards and dare say they know everything there is to know about the genre and then there are those who claim to know every sub-genre underneath the electronic name and scoff at people who use the word ‘electronica.’
Where exactly am I going with this? Well, let’s see. Electronic music is a HUGE genre with a multitude of genres underneath its shadow. Who’s to say who knows more than whom, and who’s the say at what depth is one considered an expert or lowly novice? In either regard, the music that Gui Boratto creates is the kind that any music fan can love, pretentious music lover or not. The fact that I write reviews myself can be deemed as self-righteous on its own but I’m not here to declare what kind of electronic music you should listen to. What I am here to do is to point you in the direction of Take My Breath Away, Boratto’s exceptionally crafted new album.
Get your headphones on and listen at the five-minute marker of “Atomic Soda” and on. Snappy synths stab at the outermost region of the speaker and just as that thumping bump comes in, it’s begging for submission. Boratto then takes his hand off the pedal and leans back before returning with head-nodding drums and a syncopated percussion line; it’s all superbly accomplished. This is just one side of Boratto’s genius and one of many that is on full display here.
Following his 2007 breakthrough success, Chromophobia, Boratto has unleashed a lush and diverse array of music. Whereas that erstwhile album focused on the simplicity of beat-making and house music, the title itself was Borratto’s attempt to showcase this, Take My Breath Away follows in the similar path with a progressive outlook. It’s as if the Brazilian producer never stopped making music and in many ways, this all feels like one long extension.
“No Turning Back” is the embodiment of what electronic music should be. With its tear-drop aesthetics, rhythmic interlay and the relaying movement, it desires to be one of the many songs DJs should be playing at their clubs. Boratto carefully layers all of the music, adding percussive patterns there, a melodic line here, before everything explodes into a booming ecstasy of music. The female vocals are a nice touch and, as it goes, the best song is also the only one with any vocals.
In other parts, the album’s opener and title track set the mood with a laid-back refrain and clashing cymbals. This is an accomplished asset for Boratto and his music because it deserves attention but it’s also the kind of music that fits the mood as you’re dozing off and relaxing or when you are in the groove and in need of awesome workout music. Elsewhere, “Besides” is a musically-rich ballad that features a skillful guitar melody and in the style of orchestral strings, Boratto delivers keyboard-inflected harmonies. On “Colors,” Boratto asserts himself with misty atmospherics and a reflective amount of low-ended bass and meticulous drums. He’s in full control here and it’s obvious he has buckets of ideas floating around.
This is keenly composed music and it’s delivered in such a marvelous manner, you’d be foolish to pass it up. Just listen to that melody on “Azurra” and tell me it’s not entirely delectable. Not only does Boratto make gifted electronic music for either side of the electronic spectrum but he makes gifted music for anyone. Take My Breath Away is all you can ask for in that respect.