Release Spirit

Ghostly International • 2023

Dylan Khotin-Foote, who made his first part of hos double-barrelled surname his stage name, has two musical faces. On the one hand, the Canadian stands in the house tradition of his native country with his releases on Pacific Rhythm and 1080p. On the other hand, he also exists in album mode, where he glides purposefully out of the club, past the afterhours party and into the wilderness, but not without his LoMo camera and psychedelics in his pack. The melancholy and restraint that can already be heard in Khotin’s club tracks then break through in full. After »Finds You Well«, which caused a bit of hype in 2020 probably due to the first year of the pandemic, they do the same on »Release Spirit«. The cover of the new album also features abstract images which offend with their mundanity. In combination with the chosen font, it looks like the cover of a meditation CD from the nineties at first glance. And the impression given is not misleading: The eleven tracks draw on the past and bring back childhood memories that perhaps never existed in this form. Between all sorts of delay, which Khotin uses like an acoustic flashback, and his personal time machine, the Roland TB-303, delicate blossoms sprout forth from the small-town asphalt. Dream pop with the use of a steel pan (»Fountain, Growth«), English vocals with an Eastern European accent that would also have fit on DJ Koze’s already-classic »XTC«, and slow-paced techno that makes the senses fade away (»Techno Creep«): Khotin combines the catchiness of Tycho with the spherical reverb of Boards of Canada. At first it gives you goosebumps, but after a while it also relaxes you without creating a real narrative.