Ricardo Villalobos, Achso (Cadenza 2005)
Some of the most innovative tracks of the past couple years have come from the Chilean producer Ricardo Villalobos, who first hit my radar screen when "Easy Lee" and "Dexter" began appearing on mix after mix in 2003 and 2004. Those two songs appeared on Villalobos' landmark album Alcachofa; since then, his releases have become more and more skeletal, and barely any song lasts less than an album side. They just run and run, with the four-four kicks creating almost a trance state in the listener so that Villalobos can paint on the blank canvas with strings, acoustic guitar, and hundreds of tiny shifts in phase and panning. His new four-song EP, Achso, is out on Cadenza.