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Album of the Week: Pitto - Objects in a mirror...

Released earlier in the summer, but still a favourite at Spotlight HQ.

Artist: Pitto
Album: Objects In A Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear
Label: Green Holland
Release Date: 20/6/2011

Vocals are a funny thing. Get them wrong and you're on a production fast track to nowhere, via Mediocrity Junction and Plummeting Credibility Corner. But get them right and you can achieve something almost unthinkable in today's 100 releases-a-week world, namely a truly memorable piece of music.

Which is exactly why Dutchman Pitto finds himself receiving this accolade in honour of his debut album. Only here the formula is reworked, without over-repetition, several times, leading to not one but a handful of quality tracks that, once heard, threaten to stick in the mind's ear for weeks, if not months to come.

And it takes very little time for you to realise this, thanks in no small part to Ceiling In Paris. Following the abstract spoken word intro we're dropped into what initially appears to be regular, albeit tech-edged house, which is the only apt description for the tune in question. Only it's also got an analogue, monotone hook, a breathy female lead at once seductive but slightly sinister, and a pack of backing voices that sound like an all girl choir. It's odd, but works fantastically.

As does Don't Come Any Closer, a well-conceived, stripped outing that's almost dub techno, as waves of synth ripple from distant chords while a flat-footed, solid kick pads out the rhythm. Yet it's also legitimate to reference Regina Spektor, Kid A, and similarly otherworldly singers when attempting a description, what with Alice Rose delivering her harmonies. The Cologne based artist, who has also been in the studio with techno don Gabriel Ananda, nearly steals the show here with no less than four appearances.

That's not to say the other collaborators don't shine though, whether that's alt-jazzist Lilian Hak, or pianist Wout Smeets (whose ivory tinkling on Every Second Of U helps deliver a classic house treatment). But, reassuringly, it's the man that ties it all together people should remember most- from each production's focus on the micro details, to his own vocal outing, Walking By The Sea; a truly positive offering that's heartfelt synth pop-cum-big room dance music, but in the best possible way. “It's a beautiful day,” croons our new star. From where we're standing we'd agree, and if this first instalment is much to go by tomorrow should be even better.

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