Instant Reality

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Sometimes, it's amazing to see how things go in phases and eventually come almost full circle. That said, Instant Reality sounds like classic Detroit techno went abroad to a private boarding school, learned to party at some of the U.K.'s finest underground parties, and got way better production skills somewhere along the way. All the way through Instant Reality, it's fun to trace the blueprints of influence that abound. The opening moments of "Heavenly Blue" could easily be at home on a classic As One record. The staggering keyboard stabs and intense percussion workout recall classic Octave One and Transmat. "Sacrament" harks back to an era when Derrick and Kevin were actually still producing the classics, and Analogue Bubblebath would shortly become the words on everyone's lips. Throw in a bit of some of the other influences -- the mellow, introspective side of Carl Craig and the relentless punishment of UR-era Jeff Mills -- and you pretty much get the idea of where Instant Reality draws its inspiration from. However, what sets Diego apart from simply being an imitator is his attention to minute sonic detail and his brilliant sense of song arrangement. Instant Reality is the soundtrack to a brilliant night out. From the opening midtempo numbers to the intense peak-time club tracks to the relaxing ambient techno strains that fade in the album's final moments, this is digital soul of the highest order.

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