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Friday, Feb 12 2016 | 11:42
Image: 1602326 Shapeshifting French producer Lee Van Dowski drops his first album in 10 years with ‘Cerca Trova’, a career triumph work spanning ambient techno, breaks and beyond.

The LP’s title, translates to ‘Search / Find’ and like the name, sees the Geneva-based artist digging deep into his musical repertoire. The 14-track work harks back to his diverse musical roots, when an initial passion for techno soon led the artist into more experimental territory with the likes of Autechre, Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, Richard Devine and Otto Van Schirac, fuelling his musical obsession.

The artist – a father of two twin boys – says he wanted to leave something for his sons to remember him by. Likewise, since his last artist album ‘As Told On The Eve Of…’ with Quenum released on Soma in 2006, he wanted to surprise people, while challenging himself to create a narrative beyond the dancefloor. And anyone who has paid even cursory notice of his productions over the years will notice the expansive palette of sounds the Frenchman has explored through the work, which although diverse, flows smoothly from one multilayered moment to the next.

From the glitchy stylings of opening track ‘Creating Me’, to the ‘‘I.L.A.N.E.N.O’, a dreamy ambient collaboration with old friend Caroline Hervé (aka Miss Kittin), that was created after they spent a weekend in the mountains with Lee’s kids, the producer sets about building a creative and cohesive trip across 70 minutes.

There’s ‘1+1’, a grand, orchestral breakbeat-driven cut awash with strings and vocal harmonies and the evocative ‘Repli Tactique’, an intoxicating wall of sound, driven by rich Flamenco-style guitar licks, before Lee shifts the momentum up a gear for the stunning electro breaks of ‘The One’. The grininducing ‘Dans Tes Yeux’ is five minutes of pure, driving breakbeat euphoria, before the tempo is taken into gritty acid techno territory with ‘Toran’. To close, he then brings us down again with the beautiful title track, followed by the
delicate piano-laden concluder ‘Sinon Toi’.

An artist reborn since joining Anja Schneider’s Mobilee Records in 2013, the album follows on from Lee’s outstanding past 12 months that saw him drop releases on Cocoon, Bedrock, Suara, Rebellion (sub-label of Crosstown Rebels), This and That and of course Mobilee, home to ‘050504’, one of the year’s biggest techno tracks.

01. Creating Me
02. I.L.A.N.E.N.O feat. Miss Kittin
03. Awaken
04. Au Minimum
05. Phenix
06. Gy6z2
07. 1+1
08. Alekhine’s Defense
09. Repli Tactique
10. The One
11. Dans Tes Yeux
12. Toran
13. Cerca Trova
14. Sinon Toi

01 Lee Van Dowski - Cerca Trova

02 Maya Jane Coles - I Would Fly

03 Ray Okpara - Rao Del Rani

04 David Duriez - Do I Feel Lucky

05 Rodriguez Jr. - Kenopsia

06 Burnski - Division

07 Anja Schneider - Circle Culture

08 Gel Abril - When It’s Just You And Me

09 And.Id - Retroflection

10 Ross Evans - Dawn Til Dusk

11 Lee Van Dowski - Nekuia

12 Igor Vicente, DkA, Patsy - G.E.A.C.K.S.

13 Nicolas Masseyeff, Miss Kittin - June

14 Re.You - I Don’t Know

15 Oliver Deutschmann - Keep Rising
16 Lee Van Dowski - Elle
Available from 11.03.2016
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