Brazilian producer Gui Boratto's fifth full-length, Pentagram, is another ambitious, varied set of melodic tech-house that takes influence from new wave, progressive house, and film scores. While the album's title suggests an interest in the occult, Boratto relates the pentagram symbol to architecture (his other main passion besides music), and the music isn't quite as dark as 2011's III. It does have some harder-edged moments, however, such as the pounding industrial beats near the beginning of opener "The Walker," or the muscular live drumming throughout "The Black Bookshelf." Boratto's wife, Luciana Villanova, who has sung on all of his albums (including career highlights like the 2007 single "Beautiful Life"), appears on "Overload," a dark, racing electro cut similar to Marie Davidson. Boratto purposefully split two facets of his personality into two related songs: the more dramatic, New Order-influenced "Forgotten" and the more club-focused minimal techno thumper "Forgive Me." "Scene 2" is a brief exercise in string-laden film noir, while "The Phoenix" is one of Boratto's most radio-friendly vocal-based tracks to date. Progressive trance innovator BT makes a guest appearance on "Hallucination," a hacker dream containing swiftly scattered voices over a steady, slightly buzzed beat. The album's glitchy title track is sparse yet acutely detailed, and sinister without seeming too evil-minded. Like the rest of the album, it seems curious about the dark side rather than fully possessed. ~ Paul Simpson
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