Pier Bucci Familia

Pier Bucci is part of the recent Chilean mini-invasion of producers bringing smooth techno beats to Europe. His debut album is a good mix of tech-house and mild electro influences. Unlike a lot of this year’s electro-house, Familia doesn’t demand your attention or club you on the head with buzzing synths. It’s suitable to play upfront on the dance floor or in the background of a club or lounge, which doesn’t mean it’s boring, but just more modest than Tiefschwarz or Blackstrobe. A close comparison would be MRI — the melodies are pleasing to the ear without being treacle, and the beats are graceful. Some of the tracks I like best are the twinkling melody of "Jesss,” the Yazoo-channelling "Cosmic” and "Towers,” for tech-house purity. Guest vocals from Armelle Pioline on "Tita” and "L’Nuit” sound oddly like Miss Kittin, and that’s so 2002. Luckily they are not prominent in the mix and can be ignored. And he really should have chosen a better ending than "Hydro,” a silly electro track that is out of place and not very good. Otherwise, it’s a smooth and enjoyable ride. (Crosstown Rebels)