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Beyond That Hill


Paolo Alberto aka Dusty Kid loves travelling, no matter whether it is a trip through his own sensuous spheres of experience (like on his solo debut album A Raver's Diary in 2009), or a real road movie. Beyond That Hill takes the straight bass drum out of the club and plants it on the roadside. Beats are rushing past like power poles, a fresh breeze is blowing in your face, both literally and figuratively, and in front of you there is nothing but the vast horizon, a shimmering dance of coordinates. Dusty Kid wanders through luscious, epic landscapes of sounds. Hence, it is not surprising that some of his tracks hit the 10-minute mark without being tiring or exhaustive. You will rather find yourself gliding above the sounds, yet still close enough to admire all the wonderful details, and high enough to get a good view. The sounds are far more than just pure metaphysical mumbling or a series of meaningless loops and effects. The opener "Nora Nights" already starts at a tight pace, yet with a well-defined and delicately-balanced structure and ambience. Every single second, every single sound bit is essential. On "Jknoussa," Dusty Kid first plays the Grand Canyon tourist at the coin slot telescope; then, in the 14-minute floor-hugger "Argia," he turns into the adventurous mountaineer climbing between the jagged rocks along the abyss, suspended between heaven and earth, yet absorbing both at the same time. A little break at the campfire offers "Chentu Mizas" and "Beyond That Hill" with a rhythm guitar that invokes the ancestors under the moonlight, and helps you to get mentally prepared for "Polybolo" -- the monster that drags the mountaineer into the abyss, and hits the dancefloor like an avalanche. Gone are the friendly and crackling nostalgic sounds where vocals and strings were exchanging soft cotton balls -- now, the time has come to start the survival training that every raver who calls himself professional should have passed in the acid shower. Constant knocking wears the stone: like the peak bagger who finds himself awe-struck by the earth's elemental forces, "Polybolo" reveals the pure longing, the archaic natural forces, only by means of pure synthetic tools. But soon after, the traveller gets his guitar back from "Cheyenne," peaceful and organic, but still pushing, thanks to precise footwork and a superbly-arranged frequency spectrum. And finally, "That Hug" pulls out all the stops again to sensibly recapitulate the way the audience has travelled so far. With grand gesture and universal aspiration, this unique and unforgettable trip comes to an end. And once again, Dusty Kid proves that he is the master of the album format. An ideal mix tape for some, highly imaginative cinema for others, but the result is always the same: it is a story to dance to, a road musical for adventurous people.