Victor Calderone/ Various Evolve

The album art on Victor Calderone’s latest release shows a man’s facial close-up. There’s water dripping from the top of the man’s head, streaming over his eyes like tears. His look is miserable, cutting and serious. And the hard, edgy NYC beats on Evolve are no bullshit either. This techno record is magnificent and, in its notable sincerity, reminiscent of music from the pumpin’ late ’90s. "Vibrate” by Big Black Root echoes depth and "Doppelwhipper” by Gabriel Ananda pulsates melody. "Lucky Heather” by Nic Fanciulli touches emotional intelligence through its builds and virtual recreation of beats, as well as its vocal overlay. Known house producer Cevin Fisher also makes an appearance with DJ Kelee as the techno outfit A Different Dimension. The works on this album are smart and carefully selected, with a great use of gloomy vocals and sounds that are simultaneously dark and uplifting. This record transcends the monotony of more conventional club hits. Those looking for something real will be satisfied. (Ultra)