Safe in Harbour

Vilod, 2015

Ricardo Villalobos legacy is pretty much safe. He's been a highly in-demand DJ, remixer and electronic musician for at least 2 decades. His music, though rarely heard by casual fans of electronica—is highly anticipated and keenly sought after. Sought it must be: his label, Perlon, does not participate in digital culture at all; streaming or purchasing. Their pressings are limited—they sell out quickly. Vilod is his latest evolution of a long-running duo with former Sun Electric member, Max Loderbauer. 

I was only about half way through their album, Safe in Harbour before I knew it would make my year-end list for 2015. It's a confounding listen: busy but sparse, repetitive but random. For the most part, it takes a low key vibe—lounge-jazzy, but tweaked with oddball rhythmic patterns and sharply carved sonic space that leaves your brain wondering where to position everything. It's an artists' astute use of your sonic perception. Your brain overloads, trying to put this mélange together as an actual band while the instruments rapidly shift around your audible field. It's damn hard to listen to this album passively—and that's a high compliment.