Reggaeton beats ensconced in the liquid chords of classic deep house.
DJ Python’s Dulce Compañia is built on a fusion so ballsy and simple it’s a wonder no one’s done it yet: reggaeton beats ensconced in the liquid chords of classic deep house. It’d be commendable enough for pulling it off, but the DJ born Brian Piñeyro isn’t content to sit back and smirk at what he’s created. This is one of those albums, like Burial’s Untrue or Luomo’s Vocalcity, that builds worlds while refusing to sacrifice its funk.
It’s a little simpler than those behemoths. Really, there’s not much to this stuff except the drums – solid as rocks – and the amniotic fluid in which they’re contained. With such a simple palate, individual sounds stick out: the snaky siren-sound at the edges of “Esteban” and “q.e.p.d.,” the coital gasps that glint through the nine-minute abyss of “Acostados” and the lithe machine-man that swims through the depths of “Yo Ran (Do).”
But Dulce Compañia’s to its credit that, once it really gets going, the fusion of reggaeton and deep house is the last thing on the listener’s mind. This is imagistic music that, with luck, should bring back a flood of subjective memories—probably relating to water. It’s hard to think of anything else with all those rippling chords, and Piñeyro encourages this reading with its deep-blue cover and titles like “Todo Era Azul” (“Everything Was Blue”).
This thing’s a treat to get lost in, and its one overarching flaw is that, once it’s really sucked you in, it’s over. Opener “Las Palmas” is a bit abrasive, with its mess of bells. It’s only somewhere in the two versions of “Todo Era Azul,” stacked next to each other in the middle, that the album totally hits its stride. While Vocalcity and Untrue suck you in from the moment they touch your earphones, this one takes a little time to work its magic.
The album would benefit from being just a bit longer—a few extra tracks, maybe some of those ambient interludes ubiquitous on “artist albums” by dance producers, or if each track was allotted a few extra minutes. It’s no coincidence the album’s most alluring cuts are its longest: “Acostados” and “Yo Ran (Do),” which glints with the luster of vintage new age and—sans drums—wouldn’t sound unlike something off Iasos’s Angelic Music.
But maybe Dulce Compañia, despite flirting with the scope of one, isn’t trying to be an opus. The cover looks like it was thrown together in MS Paint in two minutes, and its image of a tiny python hatching from an egg suggests the project is still only making baby steps. And maybe Piñeyro, who comes across in interviews like a good-hearted goofball, is the kind to take it slow rather than strain over a world-beating statement.
This isn’t his only project, either. A well-connected man who shares Queens lodging with Proibido boss Anthony Naples, he’s released music under a number of monikers on that label and 1080p, whose turquoise-tiled aesthetic is a perfect fit for Piñeyro’s. Most of these projects have yet to drop a debut. Dulce Compañia is far from a masterpiece, but, at its best, it’s so head-slappingly brilliant it’s easy to get the sense one’s not far off.