Hey i know a way to get an affordable copy of this. A repress is coming. Then sharks are scared that this might be true. Oh, prices are going down :) REPRESS COMING SOON IN YOUR FAVOURITE RECORDSTORE..
It is very hard to put in context simply how important this album is for the history of electronic music. I have kept note of some of my favorite quotes about this album over the years. RA's editor in chief Todd L. Burns says '' Τhe particular genius of Alcachofa is that you only realized that things like "Easy Lee" and "Dexter" were classics after you listened to them for the second, third or 15th time. It's a nearly impossible trick, making tracks that kept you dancing but which still give up new secrets each time that you hear them. Seven years later, we're still hearing things.'' Whereas Andy Kellman of Allmusic commented that Villalobos "is in complete control of his machines at all times, and he makes them do strange things that no one else can''.
For me personally, one of the most striking characteristics of this album is the fact that it sounds nothing, nothing like the music of that era. As we went into 2003, It seemed like techno had realized a big part of it's potential. I vividly remember a friend telling me (unseemly) then that ''electronic music can't go on forever, you simply can't reinvent the kickdrum''. Yet, Ricardo, came along with this album and said to everyone: ''This is how fresh and original can electronic music still sound.'' And so Alcachofa does. It truly sounds futuristic, as if it came from 15-20 years ahead of it's time. It might sound like a cliche, but Ricardo Villalobos is truly and without doubt on level of his own, light years ahead of the best producers around back then and today.
Even a quick examination of all the aspects of this album gives it a clean 10/10: Ricardo's mastery of his modular systems and machines, along with his incredible sense of rhythm and spark for song-creation is the basis of the success of this album. Thus, it's sound-design it's one of the freshest, most innovate, expensive & intricate sounding since a very, very long time. Programming-wise it's a masterclass of arrangement, groove creation and ingenious blend of drums, soundscapes and noises; it also has a very live-played feel which and in many cases it seems to be free from the ''step-sequencing'' approach, at least this is how it sounds to me. Aesthetically this album is a true marvel too: in contrast to the euphoria of the 90's, Ricardo produces a much more melancholic and darker sounding album which has helped push the genre in a deeper, more esoteric approach, essentially helping establish the deeper side of techno sound which thrives today, 10 years later. Deep and intelligent electronic dance music at it's best. I heard people say that that this album is the perfect soundtrack to the afterparty, however the truth is that this works perfect in any situation: in the club, in the after, at home, an the car.
Having said the above, the cherry on the pie and one of the greatest achievements in Alcacofa is, in my opinion, that all of the above is executed perfectly in dancefloor orientated context and that the tracks are not simply groovy dance tracks, weird sound design or tools... They are mature songs, full songs which you can whistle, you can remember and you can sign. Alcachofa is so good, that if Ricardo was to stop releasing music today, this album alone would be enough to place him amongst the crème de la crème of the best producers around. Ricardo is truly an asset for electronic music as a whole.
After writing the above and after listening again to Alcachofa the following question comes to mind immediately: If Ricardo could make such amazing music in 2003, how good can his music be 10 years later in 2013? A visit in Fabric, Robert Johnson or Get Perlonized @ Panorama - places where Ricardo plays regularly extended sets - can reveal how far this man has come: 30 or 25-minute long tracks played from his messy CD collection which are so brilliant that, when sober, can make the honest listener feel high and when high, will make you truly freak out. Is this music released? Nope. Will it ever be released? I hope some of it will, for the benefit of electronic music and for the inspiration they will bring to the younger generations.
Until then Alcachofa still offers so much to be inspired from. Frankly, ten years later, it seems that this album hasn't aged a day, easily surpassing some of nowadays most hyped and most forward thinking releases.
Mesmerizing! Leaves you stunned if you sit and take the whole album in one undisturbed hit in a darkened room. Deep, hypnotic and strange.
Not produced in Dolby 5.1 unlike Hawtins DE 9 Transitions but still works really well if played on a home cinema system in Pro-logic with the woofer turned up. If there's a better Minimal Techno album around I'd love to hear it. A must for serious Techno lovers. I want the vinyl version now!
Ricardo layers organic rhythms over odd noises and melodies.
Hypnotic and trance inducing to the max.. seems to slow time to crawl.
If you like this, check out Dandy Jack - who he has worked closely with.
I call this the release of 2003 as far as tech-house or electro goes. It's very hypnotic... almost as if you forget that you are listening to it, and then all of a sudden you realize that only six minutes has gone by on the track and you feel like you've been sitting in the same position for a month. Most tracks have unsettling sludgy sounds. ALL TRACKS on this release are very good, making it a must buy. The vinyl LP has additional songs not released on CD.