Matias Aguayo: Are You Really Lost

Rising from the ashes of Closer Musik, Matias Aguayo follows ex-partner Dirk Leyers' Wellen EP with his own full-length solo outing Are You Really Lost. Though issued on Kompakt, Aguayo's material is more vocal-based electro-pop than Cologne techno; even more notably, his unashamedly physical music repeatedly oozes a lascivious sexual vibe during the 50-minute set. This erotic dimension emerges in the title track's thrusting grunts and throbs and the hypnotically insistent tech-house of “So in Love” but also moves to the fore on the vocal pieces. Aguayo drapes his suave, almost Ferryesque croon over spooked voodoo grooves in “De Papel” and delicious vocal hooks also boost the slithering strut of “New Life.” Rather more chaste by comparison, “Well” is buoyant melodic pop distinguished by Aguayo's graceful singing while “The Green & the Red” pairs entrancing chants with jittery pulses and a minimal Kraftwerk synth motif. Regrettably, not everything on Are You Really Lost is as strong. The Chilean-flavoured instrumental “Radiotaxi” doesn't match the album's peaks, while “Drums & Feathers” comes across as merely passable too, even if the song's acidy electro-house is nicely sweetened by Aguayo's murmurs and whoops. Notwithstanding such minor moments, it's Are You Really Lost's sensual constructions that impress most of all.

November 2005