Voices From the Lake [Prologue, re-issued on Spazio Disponibile, 2023-03-17]
Eleven years have gone by since the original release saw the first light on our treasured defunct label Prologue. In 2011 in Japan, Donato Dozzy and Neel were preparing for their first live act together as Voices from the Lake at The Labyrinth festival. They consider each other as brothers, “life companions” in Dozzy’s own words, and it was time to show how their close friendship could take the crowd through a journey never experienced before, which wrote an important line to our history book.
In our interview for Orb Mag, Dozzy came back to how Neel and he crossed their path: “I met him at Brancaleone when he was just 17. He was there very often, he literally grew up listening to my music, Mike Parker’s and a few others. When younger, he was very good at replicating music, at recreating a track after having listened to it; he was understanding very well and very fast the technical process that was behind it. It took him a while to understand where he wanted to go with his talent and at the same time he grew up as a sound engineer. Becoming a great one requires skills, knowledge and a great ear, he had all of that. He crafted his art, more than emulating a track. He started to improve the sound, to listen to other people’s work and to make it brighter and better, then of course to create his own music.”
In 2012, Dozzy and Neel produced “Voices From the Lake”, bringing the hypnotic repetition together to the chillout culture. Very smooth and rhythmic, pulsating and driving, the percussive and atmospheric elements throughout the entire album plunge the listener into deep mental territories. It is an experience where one can dance to the sound of nature, or even dance together with nature.
In our interview, Dozzy shared more details on the creative process of the album: “In the project of “Voices From the Lake”, I gave a lot of creativity while Neel also brought a lot of ideas and sounds plus elevated the quality of the rendering to the maximum level with his skills. He knows amazingly well how to make a spectrum of frequencies complete. He’s as great at using the software as he is with analogue equipment. If the sound is bright, crispy, and beautifully coloured, it’s thanks to him, to the big work he put into the project. About the genre of music, we wanted to develop, we were simply doing the music we grew up listening to, there was no discussion about it.”
For us, “Circle + S.T.” and “01.12 N.” particularly stand out in the overall beautiful journey. In “Circle”, the main percussive element reminds the Shishi-odoshi (鹿威し), the water fountain used in Japanese gardens where water is flowing in a bamboo tube to bring a unique percussive sound:
The transition part of this song is the most special when we seamlessly end up in Donato Dozzy’s “S.T.” (released as well separately in the VA Composure – Ambient Techno for Japan). The elements are so beautifully merging, from the soft melodic synths dancing together with the hi-hats to the percussive elements from the previous theme, which reappear underneath. It is perfect music for the morning daybreak.
“01.12 N.”, on the contrary, is an ode for the night. It conveys tension throughout the entire track, brought by a dense atmosphere and continuous metallic-alike sonorities diffused in a circular motion. Amazingly crafted pads and water-dripping effect noises add more elements to the nightmarish forest pictured in the music.
The entire album is an absolute masterpiece showcasing how techno can be soft yet rich and tense, how music and nature can create the perfect blend and how friendship can make history.