November 17, 2006

Ricardo Villalobos - Heike


Originally released in 1998 (and with a Nelson Machado mix not included on this reissue), “Heike” finds our man from Chile in transition mode from his earlier dancefloor-minded tunes to his latter-day expansive and experimental leanings—in fact, this one piece of vinyl may be the best example of that stylistic shift. The original mix on the A-side is perfectly serviceable, above-average banging techno, given to a chugging beat, hands-in-the-air type riffs, and a relentless construction that shows little of the sublime detours that have become his signature of late. On the flip, however, Villalobos provides a peek at what was to come. Far more sparse, mellow, and downright groovy, the “Mood Mix” gets dense and clattering at some points, nearly beatless at others, and leaves that intangible space between the noises that makes Villalobos’ more recent works such an adventure. Far from being simply a cash-in reissue of a hot artist, “Heike” serves as a significant signpost in the history of minimal that still sounds great eight years after initial release.

Lo-Fi Stereo / LO-FI 038
[Todd Hutlock]