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Irritant in the Haze

João Ricardo dissects techno from Porto, Portugal

There’s a fly in João Ricardo’s ointment.

The ointment is a dense, flowing expanse of minimal techno. It is all churning, elegantly desiccated haze. There are whorls within whorls, and a thudding backbeat that is as cloudy as it is fierce.

The fly is a little bit of noise, like a bad seam in a looped sample, or the click of a turntable where the needle is stuck at the record’s end, or a bit of static on the phone that makes you think someone is listening in. It’s a tiny little irritant that turns the haze — the track is titled “Fugue” — into something more foreboding, more anxiety-provoking, more compelling.

Track, from his album Soon off the Arctic Dub label, originally posted at soundcloud.com/ocp. Ricardo goes by ocp, an acronym that expands to “operador de cabine polivalente.” More from him at joaoricardo.org. Get the full album at davewesley.bandcamp.com. Both Arctic Dub and ocp are based in Porto, Portugal.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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