Published Oct 02, 2019Based in the Netherlands, Portuguese-born Gonçalo Salgado has been releasing nostalgic, Drexciya-filtered techno as Lake Haze since the early 2010s, and after a number of singles and EPs, a proper full-length has arrived in the form of Glitching Dreams.
While Salgado is one of the more talented Drexciya worshippers out there (the project's name as well as various track titles are references to the iconic Detroit duo), it was perhaps time to branch out, and luckily Glitching Dreams does just that, mixing in a healthy dose of '90s-era British IDM tendencies to complement his usually more aggressive techno approach. It's a cross-pollination that may not come as news to those in the know (various Drexciya releases found homes on Warp and Rephlex over the years, for instance, and the duo's influence on all kinds of electronic music at the time is well-known), but it's a good reminder of how amorphous the boundaries of these styles can be in the right hands, and Salgado boasts a good pair here.
And so, we get an eminently '90s μ-Ziq beat on aptly named opener "Memory_Card," for instance, full of skittering snares and crunched-up noise over airy, chilled-out synth pads. It's a good indicator of what's to come, as elsewhere we get nods to Autechre ("Plant_Dust," full of garbled, dial-up-style modem noise), Plaid, and of course Aphex Twin, whose yearning ambient work hovers over much of the album's gauzy rhythm section.
Salgado keeps a light touch throughout, however, never getting bogged down in the idiosyncrasies of his forbears and instead emphasizing a fairly accessible pop approach full of big, open melodies and runtimes that rarely go beyond four minutes. "Dog_Walking_in_the_Park" is a great example of this, featuring a memorable synth pad melody that wouldn't be out of place in a pop production, but with an awesome dual acid lead adding welcome edge.
A potent acid pulse beats through the entire album, and although fans of Salgado's earlier club-oriented work may lament the lack of hard-hitting numbers on Glitching Dreams ("Molecular_Processing" is the only track with a proper four-four beat), there's still a fair bit of grit here, and the album is clearly meant to be a different beast anyway, emphasizing influences that previously never made it to the fore. It's frankly the richer for it, a good example of an artist taking what they're known for and blending in related styles for added depth. Salgado has elevated his game nicely here. (E-Beamz)