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Album Review

Doxa Sinistra – “Via Del Latte” – [Enfant Terrible]

Thurston Hunger   6/1/2011   A Library, CD

Reissue of a 1982 cassette back when cassettes were a low-budget
necessity and not an honor badge/hedge against piracy. It launches
with a bouncy sort of Cabaret Voltaire vibe soon joined by voko-humana
choruses broken up by electronic keys chimed. The processed vocals
return on other tracks, but the focus here is on synth, and how to
best mutate a relatively new consumer technology at the time, which
typically could lead to sterile sameness. Working hard to deviate, this
kind of work often gets linked back to musique concrete pioneers, but
Hanjo Erkamp and Brian Dommisse (the dynamic Doxa duo, who also ran
the Trumpett label that first issues this) are committed to the squelch
of the knobs turned to far, but also to an underlying beat with then
electronic freestyle on top. I listen to this now, and I hear the
future of turntablism in a way. With Doxa Sinistra scratching circuits
instead of records. So even thought this has a lot of moments where
you think Hal is going to start breaking down and into “Daisy”
there is a sort of accidental dance party going on at the same time.
I mean, listen to “Via Del Latte 3” and sure you can taste the attack
and envelop, but when you close your eyes you can see Eddie Def
needling out the noise in a similar way. For hip hop trying to ride
a lyrical rocket, these tracks sampled and rapped over good be
master blaster boosters. Or hell just patch these tracks into the
recent Felix Kubin collection via cranial wetware cables. So
Terrible is terrific, and the Enfant is eternal, nearly 30 years later.

-Thurston Hunger

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