It’s hard to imagine dancing to a good portion of Gui Boratto’s Take My Breath Away, a dance album with a mathematical mind that keeps its beats consistent but often hunkers down into contemplative quietude. Boratto has an uncommon sense of patience, even for a DJ, which means his songs build carefully and slowly, sometimes stretching past the eight-minute mark. They also behave unexpectedly, eschewing genre patterns for pieces whose patterns are dictated by their own careful sense of mood. The title track begins quiet and stays that way without peaking—a surprisingly subtle touch for an opening number. “Atomic Soda” dotes on its soft, churning beat before finally letting it rip two minutes in, layering on a dose of ghostly synths. “Besides” is airy and beautiful, electronic noise with the consistency of champagne bubbles married to an acoustic guitar riff and the occasional electric twang. There are moments of cheesy excess, like the syrupy “Colors” and the sometimes hackneyed, cringe-inducing female vocals on “No Turning Back,” but so much is happening here that these negatives are reduced, if only by the sheer volume of sounds presented. Take My Breath Away is a heavily populated but still carefully fashioned landscape, never feeling crowded and skipping effortlessly between lush ambience and driving techno. At times it recalls the underrated video game compositions of Yuzo Koshiro, who was equally adept at building elaborate mosaics from dance rhythm tropes, though Boratto is much more of a technician and has more room and desire to explore. “Godet,” another quiet piece, closes the album on a heavy tide of major piano chords, reminding us that though it’s a dance album at heart, Take My Breath Away‘s mind is elsewhere.
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