The bass in my car, it’s choosy about what it rattles to, or at least it seems that way. I’m sure a sound engineer somewhere could explain away why some albums pass through my stereo system scot-free, while others shake the floor of my Toyota like a Californian earthquake. But it’s more fun to imagine my stereo system as choosy, as moving only to what it wants to move to. If these last few weeks could tell you anything, it’d be the latest culprit has been Abaporu, house producer Gui Boratto’s fourth full-length release, but particularly its title track. As the song propels forward, as the kick drum pierces through my stereo system like a freshly sharpened knife thrown through the center of a bongo, I’m reminded of Jon Hopkins’ Immunity.
Even if these two albums don’t share many obvious characteristics, they convey strikingly similar moods when at their stride. See, Immunity was the aural equivalent of being strapped onto the bottom of an airplane right before being flown to the other side of the world, away from everything you know. The album plays like a process of transporting one’s self, one’s state of mind in the act of going from home to perilous terrain- and in eventually finding a special kind of home somewhere along the way. Abaporu has this quality to it, where it feels specially constructed to be played on the open road, where nobody else is there to harbor complaint. It’s the experience from inside the vehicle, the air-conditioned take of the great outdoors.
There’s a certain comfort, a deeply seated joy that comes with letting Abaporu affect you, because it’s the kind of trusty house record that keeps up its own pace. You know you’ll be in its clutches by track 10 as much as you are on track four, and it sure helps that the producer has been looking all around for new influences. Those that have appreciated the nu-disco styles provided by Todd Terje and even Daft Punk lately, well, they’ll find much enjoyment from cuts like “Please Don’t Take Me Home”. Songs like these are where the funky guitar licks come in and the percussion loosens up, and Boratto pulls off the sound like he’s been playing it for ages. Elsewhere, “Take Control” channels the electro energies the Chemical Brothers left behind in the beginning of the new millenium. Abaporu even sees its creator circumvent his ‘minimal’ genre tag for the fanciful pop tune, where vocals take the stage and command it for the rest of the tune. While songs like “Too Late” are oversaturated in that sweet, sweet sugar Boratto’s only now acquainting himself with, they’re noteworthy excursions from the norm on this record. In a beautiful paradox, such a thing can be said for the majority of Abaporu. It’s a record that, despite all of its differing hues, manages to come across as a unified mosaic of sound.
I don’t recall exactly when I heard Gui Boratto first. The only thing I know at this point is that the first song of his that stuck with me was off Chromophobia. I’ve even listened through the entire record since, still unable to recall which exact tune it was that got me hooked. Whatever characteristic it was that initially got me into Boratto’s music, it seems to have left — I hear the same music today that I considered infectious at some point in time, and my main thought is that I’d simply rather hear Abaporu. Boratto’s earlier records have moments of brilliance encased within, but they also contained a lot of growth for the artist, and those two things seem to be mutually exclusive for Boratto. That’s why this album is a great starting point for those who haven’t heard much by this house artist. Abaporu is streamlined success, a road map of sorts that runs through the bulk of its predecessors. It’ll give your car speakers a bit of a hard time if they’re anything like mine, and it’ll make you overthink road trips, the ones that unfold under the soft glow of moonlight.