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After Love

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Album Review

After Love, Dirk Leyers and Matias Aguayo's debut album, follows a number of compilation appearances and a pair of 12" singles for the Kompakt label. Like their previously released material (some of which can be found here), the album offers a blend of kling-klanging electro/industrial-tinged techno minimalism and achingly melodic tech-house. Some songs are instrumental and others feature the vocal stylings of Aguayo, who always sounds as if he recorded his takes while preening in front of a mirror. The album's central piece, "You Don't Know Me," is a sinister and rather funny (this is a compliment) rewrite of "My Favorite Things." Over a slithering, sleazy groove, Aguayo runs through a number of things he likes. Instead of cream-colored ponies and schnitzel, the vocalist likes to eat fresh fruit and hear the sound of his voice. He also enjoys shaving, smelling himself, and licking his lips. In "Closer Dancer," Aguayo carries a similar air of seduction, hardly raising his voice above whispering level as if he's working his magic on a prospective one-night stand. And then, later on, in "Ride," it seems he succeeded in bedding the object of his affection. Most of the productions resemble relaxed, slowed-down takes on the electronic body music of D.A.F. and the sub-aquatic electro-techno buzz of early Drexciya. (D.A.F. and Drexciya on a combination of Ritalin and Spanish Fly might be a good way of summing up most of the album.) The gliding "Departures," reprised from 2001's Total 3 compilation on Kompakt, is probably the least-representative track on the album, but it's too gorgeous to not mention. It has to be one of the sweetest, most beautifully melancholic tracks since Aril Brikha's "Otill."


Formed: Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Closer Musik is the tech-house duo of Chile native Matias Aguayo and the suave Dirk Leyers. Prior to hooking up, Aguayo's own work as a producer came to light thanks to his collaboration with M. Mayer as Zimt on the Ladomat 2000 label. In May of 2000, Aguayo and Leyers made their recorded debut with the somber vocal tech-house 12" One, Two, Three (No Gravity) on Cologne, Germany's Kompakt label. Along with Dettinger, Jonas Bering, and Tobias Thomas, Aguayo and Leyers were featured as part of the...
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