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Electro - Released October 4, 2005 | Kompakt

Closer Musik's unexpected split had a heartbreaking effect. Dirk Leyers and Matias Aguayo left only one album, a couple singles, and three consecutive show-stealing appearances on the Total compilations. They were Kompakt's Pet Shop Boys, or Associates, a male duo with a distinct sound. One of the things that made Closer Musik so dazzling -- and perhaps, ultimately, so combustible -- was the tension between the two producers' disparate idiosyncrasies, made clear when Leyers unveiled his first solo 12" in early 2005. "Wellen"'s bulbous, trance-inducing melodies and gentle coating of synthetic atmospherics were in line with CM's "Departures" and "Maria," so it could've been deduced that the relatively rigid, stripped-down shapes within "Closer Dancer" and "You Don't Know Me" were the work of Aguayo. That theory holds with Are You Really Lost, an album Aguayo produced with assistance from Marcus Rossknecht. "De Papel," the only track that comes close to resembling a song or a single in the traditional sense, starts it off by indicating Aguayo's desire to separate himself from his past while retaining his identity. It has the dark undercurrents of old, as well as the sparse and alluring skeletal sound -- a sashaying gallop in this case -- but there's an added muskiness, and Aguayo's voice sounds more human while intoning lyrics that are either completely nonsensical and/or enunciated as if he has lost the feeling in his lips. He always has and probably always will sound like he's trying to get in your pants, but he's no longer so mysterious (despite the gibberish). The rest of the tracks are more like moods or sketches, in each case settling into a motif and more or less relying on it for four to six minutes. They're not all that dynamic, but they're often seductive and misshapen, ideal for an impossibly humid room of dancers who are too overheated to do anything but grind. On "Drums and Feathers" and "Are You Really Lost," Aguayo's vocals are reduced to primal grunts and sexual gasps that respectively zip from left to right and hit like jabs. On "New Life," he returns to the prowling gigolo heard in "Closer Dancer" and "Ride," dropping come-ons ("Tell me I'm cold/I don't care/'Cause I know that you're hot/Yes, you're hot") that would only be effective for their deliveries, while on "Well," he's out for the same exact thing but assumes a more naïve role. As for the lesser moments, there's "The Green & the Red," an awkward children's song (in which Red, who sounds like a cyborg Cartman, comes in at the end to pledge affection for Green), and then there's "So in Love," a lightly pumping track involving a chant of the days of the week and a repeated declaration from someone who sounds like an obscene phone caller. Are You Really Lost is polarizing as much as anything else, but nearly anyone who comes into contact with it should be able to agree that it's one of the strangest albums Kompakt has released. ~ Andy Kellman

Electro - Released February 1, 2014 | Cómeme

After the release of 2009's Ay Ay Ay, Matias Aguayo granted vocals to diverse tracks by Battles ("Ice Cream"), Discodeine ("Singular"), Daniel Maloso ("Right Kind"), and Baio ("Tanto"). He also knocked out a 12" for Kompakt and spent years assembling this, his third solo album, as he stopped in Argentina, Colombia, France, Mexico, and Germany to snare nearly 20 friends -- vocalists and percussionists -- for contributions. Issued on his Berlin-based Cómeme label, The Visitor is Aguayo's loosest, looniest, and most layered album. Even when certain tracks are short on development, little more than a faintly varying rhythm and unintelligible group chatter, they're infectious and often amusing due to abundant merrymaking from the involved parties. Within the first few seconds of the opener, it's evident that Aguayo is farther from Closer Musik's "Closer Dancer" than ever before, with a bounding bassline and swashing percussion beneath traded rolled Rs from Aguayo and Juliana Gattas -- a cartoonish mating ritual -- and a yelled refrain of "Do it every night!" There's playful dementedness to spare with the buzz-and-whir of "By the Graveyard," a relatively stripped-down house track that's more Sleezy D or Phuture than anything contemporary. "El Sucu Tucu," one of many tracks featuring the athletic hands of Luis Miguel "El Cucharita" Jaramillo, likewise is anchored by a primitive machine rhythm; Aguayo's tongue-twisting vocal reaches its most intense and comical point just as the battering percussion seems on the brink of malfunctioning. Listeners attached to Aguayo's comparatively spindly early-2000s work will hear much of this as cracked chaos, but the level of carefree delight brimming throughout has to be, at the very least, admired. ~ Andy Kellman

Electro - Released October 6, 2014 | Kompakt


Pop - Released October 27, 2009 | Kompakt

Since Are You Really Lost, released four years prior to Ay Ay Ay, Matias Aguayo's productions have become increasingly loose and improvised-sounding. This is traceable through his series of 2005-2009 singles on Kompakt and Soul Jazz, and especially the tracks on his own boutique label, Cómeme, essentially an outgrowth of the "bumbumbox" parties held by the producer and three of his friends in the streets of Buenos Aires. On his second solo album, Aguayo's worlds away from the rigid, minimal structures of Closer Musik, awash in a hybrid form of dance music inspired by Latin, African, and Latin-African rhythms, from cumbia to freestyle to kwaito. While the producer is as reliant on electronics as ever, the whole thing sounds off-the-cuff and flat-out odd, even when Aguayo's playful chants and inscrutable gibberish are not flowing over the waves of percussion. Nothing on the disc is quite as ensnaring as "Street Sound," a Cómeme A-side where freestyle and tribal house mingle. Then again, the track's eeriness would have clashed with the album's inviting, rollicking spirit, which never ceases. If this is not the most live-sounding dance album made with synthetic instrumentation, it must be pretty close. ~ Andy Kellman

Electro - Released June 16, 2017 | flau


Electro - To be released May 24, 2019 | Crammed Discs


Electro - Released March 16, 2015 | Cómeme


Electro - Released February 5, 2014 | Cómeme