Villalobos is one of techno's most distinctive, innovative producers. This is apparent even from the eight early tracks (circa 1998-2001) gathered on Salvador. Villalobos is the thinking person's hedonist, the party animal's philosopher. His rep as a debauched DJ notwithstanding, Villalobos on wax is the master of the epic "ketamine house" style that endlessly fascinates. Although not as complex and psychotropic as his later work, Salvador's tracks move with sidewinder stealth, trickily shimmying toward paradise swathed in intriguing textures. Villalobos imbues even his poppiest moments with a melancholy paranoia and an ominous thrust that suggest tense chase scenes more than sweet dancefloor release.