Pier Bucci: Familia
Crosstown Rebels

Following two strong EPs (Cinetico Andino and Advanced Romance), Chile-born and current-Berlin resident Pier Bucci guides listeners through a fluid ten-track cruise on Familia (his fifth full-length and the premiere album release from Damian Lazarus's London-based Crosstown Rebels). Though typically grouped with Ricardo Villalobos and Luciano, Bucci enriches propulsive Chilean microhouse with elements of Cologne techno and Warp-by-way-of-Kraftwerk electronica, making for fresh and frothy results (hear, for example, how seamlessly Bucci sweetens squiggly percolations with sparkling synth sprinkles in “Pipostrack”).

The album's best tracks appear upfront, like the wondrous microhouse-pop confection “Tita” which boosts Armelle Pioline's entrancing vocal hooks with a warm strut of moog bass and glistening synth colour. She also wraps sleepy French musings around a writhing groove of intricate, Villalobos-styled textures on “L'Nuit,” the tune eventually coasting into acid territory alongside all manner of ricocheting noises. Aside from “Hay Consuelo,” a possessed tech-house raver of metallic strafings, blippy bird calls, and vocals by one Macha, the rest of the album features instrumentals, all fine though none impressing at the level of “Tita.” Long synth washes produce dreamy chill in “Siberian” while a funky pulse of double-time hi-hats and clattering snares works up steamy broil in “Cosmic.” It bears mentioning, however, that, when one is so lulled by the smooth flow of Bucci's music, it's easy to lose sight of its multi-layered complexity and consequently underappreciate the music's high quality.

December 2005