Gui Boratto’s New Life

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Published March 11, 2009

Not many electronica producers have engineered a Garth Brooks record. But Gui Boratto is an exception. The Brazilian musician started his career working for music in advertising and spent the good part of a decade toiling away on children’s jingles. Three years ago, Boratto decided to focus on his own dance productions and with his debut album, Chromophobia (Kompakt), found success that crossed continents and music scenes. The success of “Beautiful Life”—a summery, eight-and-a-half-minute synth-pop song—was a big reason for its popularity. Every piece fits together perfectly: the gauzy synth swirls, optimistic chant, the snap of the backbeat. It’s matched in sweetness by the music video, which features a kid spinning a skateboard wheel with his finger and concludes with a family sitting down for dinner.

 

Last week, Boratto released his follow-up, Take My Breathe Away. The album’s surreal cover featuring children dressed in gas masks and orange smocks like something from Jon Kessler sculpture seem to indicate a change for Boratto. Fortunately, the cover art is a misrepresentative misstep: Take My Breathe Away still has all the plump melodies and colorful textures that Boratto is known for. While lead single “Atomic Soda” might be built for the dancefloor, with a breakdown of sand-blasted synthesizers, Boratto balances that tension with a melody that’s squishy and approachable. Another stand-out, “No Turning Back,” is every bit as doe-eyed as “Beautiful Life” and features Boratto’s wife, Luciana Villanova, whispering over an eight minute dive into spring flowers. Just in time to wake from winter hibernation, the album is streaming at Boratto’s label’s web site.