It's not by chance that the titles of Loreto's new tracks, two very precise nouns, can be combined in a phrase to impose a concrete idea: "there's a stranger tension forming on the horizon", Diogo Loreto could have said since he explains that one of the tracks was informed by media reports of a possible devastating conflict between North Korean and American military forces. Guess which one...
The two new tracks by Loreto are obviously rooted on techno's long term dialogue with technology but, at the same time, they sound strangely detached from any kind of tradition, a fact that probably owes something to Diogo's decision of combining analogue and digital tools putting aside any purist approach that might favour one over the other.
"Stranger" starts as an insistent 4/4 beat before the bassline drops and helps to transport the track to some faraway place. Loreto says it deals with the feeling of antecipation that builds before a trip, specially when you are not exactly sure of your final destination. "it's like each new track is both a trip to the past and a discovery of the future", he says. There are hints of early 80s sci-fi soundtracks with an amazing Moog line leading us like some transmission getting to us from somewhere in deep space: we have to follow it even if we don't know where it will take us.
"Tension" is an altogether different affair. The lead is also a beat, although one with a very different pattern, with a clap giving it a very defined urgency. Loreto talks of the tension surrounding ethical, moral, citizenship, political values in an age where the possibility of war looms over the planet. The atmospheric pads that surround the beat as fog forming over the peak of a mountain keep our hands glued to the headphones as if we don't want to miss a microsecond of the theme that resolves into a dancefloor pearl on the second half, all nerve, muscle and pumping fluids, no fat whatsoever. Each element of the arrangement is vital to the whole.
"Stranger" and "Tension" show Loreto developing a very clear authoral mark, a kind of dark and cinematic approach to techno that's both classic and futuristic, with the producer prefering a bird's eye view of the history of this sound instead of a more mimetic approach of a specific era of it's development. And that gives it a unique character, something that's distinctive in an era when everyone seems to be more interested in joining specific cliques and tribes. Loreto is a lone rider. And that's ok too.