Ricardo Villalobos

Ricardo Villalobos is the avatar of that avant-garde permutation of house music often called ketamine-house (for its drugged, psychedelic effects that swirl around the beat, though one can also hear that giddy rush of whippet hits too). And every album and single he releases anticipates where the amoebic form might spread next (or what designer drug will enhance it best). Unlike his spiny 2003 album named for an artichoke and 2004's cactus-prickly Thé au Harem d'Archimde, the four sprawling tracks of Achso are fertile, brimming with lush vegetation and primordial ooze. "Seiso" has sonorous guitar feedback coursing through its matrices, where drums burst forth like jungle cats through the overgrowth. "Ichso" evokes a gurgling waterfall but soon expands into a jet-engine roar as little ticks and cymbals hive-dance around it. Hooks and beats appear amid the fluctuating verdure like organisms vying for space, suggesting not just one plant but an entire ecosystem.

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