By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
At a cursory look, dance clubs and health clubs are surprisingly similar. Both share equal space with sleek and lissome and burly and bulky physiques. Both play host to regimented physicality, insistent desire, and chiseled and huffing figures (though admittedly the lighting is better in a dance club). Following this line of thought, it's not much of a stretch to think of a mix CD as an exercise routine for DJ and listener alike. So here is a physical examination of Desyn Masiello's disc Balance 008 and a brief look at the "Desyn Diet" that helps cross-train funky sounds of lean and ripped muscle side by side.
Let's be honest we all have those problem areas. Maybe it's our love handles or our abs. Maybe our synths are too tinny or the beats aren't gummy enough. Desyn's answer is a little cosmetic surgery. He uses ProTools and Ableton Live to do re-edits if a track holds the essence but not the perfect form of how he imagines the music to affect the dance floor. An example is his more cathedral-like take on Chelonis R. Jones's "One on One" seductive electro-house from Germany's en vogue Get Physical label that shows how a little bristle and sleaze, musky emotional vagabondage, is being used to beef up minimalist pecking beats and melodic bass in 2005.
During his quickly evolving career as a future DJ hero, Desyn has had a few buddies spotting for him. Heavyweights Deep Dish, Danny Howells, and John Digweed have been particularly active in pumping Desyn up, for they share his fascination with placing melody and murk in a gritty yet sultry jigsaw puzzle.
Desyn's own production "Teardrop" by The Idiots comes during disc one's second half, what we'll call the tanning-bed section of Balance 008. While the track perpetuates the very futuristic, stroboscopic feel of the disc, its highly harmonic aesthetic helps balance the more dark and dubby tribal and steely techie twists of the mix's progressive house (one of versatile Desyn's many forms of choice) using sighs of shimmery synths.