Album Reviews

Lory D – Sounds Never Seen

UK release date: 10 March 2003

A legend in his native Rome, Lory-D has been a prime mover on the European techno scene over the last ten years, but has rarely received the acclaim that some of his fellow producers have had heaped upon them. Releasing his records in limited quantities on his own Sounds Never Seen label, Lory-D has perfected his take on dark minimalist techno, each track aimed firmly at the heart of the dance floor.

A long time associate of Rephlex, they have finally done the right thing and gathered together some of the finest moments from his career, eight impossible to get hold of tracks that document “the sound of Rome”. Those who are used to Rephlex’s more offbeat selections may be a little disorientated at first by Sounds Never Seen for this is Techno how they used to make it. No hyper twisted breaks, no digitally processed blasts of noise, but simple elegiac techno.

Kicking off with Deep from Colosseum a track heavy on the atmospherics and driven by a brutal four to the floor kick drum Lory-D takes the original blueprint handed down by the Detroit Pioneers, and adds his own signature to it.

On tracks like Road Hog the minimalist electro funk with its jacking acid bass line, waspish synth lines and skittering drums could come straight out of the studios of motor city legends like Mike Banks or Drexciya.

On Street Vision he drops sonar pings and bleeps over a twisted driving bass line, music to get properly lost to at four in the morning on a dark dance-floor, eerily similar to some of Rephlex founder Richard James’ work as Polygon Window. Most of the tracks have a sinister other worldly edge to them, on Levitazone with its detuned piano and rushing drums, the listener is left feeling disorientated and disturbed. Final track Fludiscki abandons the Detroit sensibilities for a fully firing freak out, twisted synth noises over a battery of martial drums.

Rephlex have been on a bit of a roll of late and Sounds Never Seen certainly keeps up to their high standards, for those new to the music this is a master class in quality European techno and for those of us who spent the early nineties losing the plot in clubs like Eurobeat 2000, then this will be a welcome trip down memory lane. Hopefully Lory-D should now receive the respect outside of his native Rome that is his due.

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Lory D – Sounds Never Seen