Deniz Kurtel Music Watching Over Me
Now that she's established herself as a successful visual artist, employing LEDs and mirrors in her interactive installations, Deniz Kurtel is putting in her bid as a legitimate producer with this debut full-length album. She's released a few singles over the last couple of years via Wolf+ Lamb and Crosstown Rebels, including "The L Word" and "Yeah" (both of which appear here, the latter in altered form), and Music Watching Over Me is mostly in step with her previous material, albeit in a format that allows her lean, tech-house aesthetic to unfold in a more spacious form over 70-plus minutes. It begins somewhat sluggishly with "Makyaj" and the less-than-compelling "My Ass," but takes off with the buoyant "Best Of" and "The L Word," the best and most lively track here, which pairs a couple of infectious synth loops and an inspired guest appearance by vocalist Jada for a luminous, alluring result. The record ranges impressively in style from the spare ambiance of "Equilibrium" to straight acid passages throughout the album version of "Yeah," and Kurtel definitely gives her tracks enough room to breathe, but some of these tracks are a bit lacking in melody and vitality, pleasant in execution but less exhilarating than seems to have been intended. Although it drags in parts, Music Watching Over Me is, at the very least, an intriguing introduction with some stellar moments worthy of repeat rotation. For a DJ so early in her career, it's an admirable debut, and a sure sign of interesting sounds to come from her direction.
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