Album ReviewsReviews

Sega Bodega continues to innovate on his new record “Dennis”


Salvador Navarrette, or as you may know him, Sega Bodega, has proven time and time again that he is more than capable of pushing the boundaries of electronic music. It seems that to him, the possibilities are limitless, and with each new release comes further elaboration of the emotional nuances that can be privileged by techno. His latest record is no different.

Dennis, which came to him as a result of a manic episode, beautifully captures that chaotic and dissociative unrest. It effortlessly transports the listener through the rapturous highs and solemn lows of mania. Opening with “Coma Dennis”, an intro that is simultaneously symphonic and discordant, the listener is primed from the get-go with an anticipatory unease, before being promptly thrust into a tasty 2000’s ringtone-esque sample on “Adulter8”, positioned against echoing ambient vocals. You are at once excited and unsettled as you are welcomed into this church of techno.

There is a balance that Navarrette has wound throughout this record. He continuously walks that paradoxical line between everything and nothing. It is euphoric but cold, mechanical but emotional, unrelenting but gentle. Many of these ideas are more suggested rather than discussed, allowing them room to breathe. These suggestions feel provocative. He is inquiring you to feel, rather than intellectualize those feelings. He is searching for a bodily reaction. Each of these tracks are delectably textured but at no point is it in excess. Its simplicity is what facilitates its emotional complexity. There is a sense of intentionality, everything being where it should be.

This record is constantly moving, impulsively flitting about as you pass through the upbeat tempos before being offered a momentary respite, only to throw you back into the deep end. You are taken through this cycle a few times, building you up higher and higher and then letting you fall. As someone diagnosed with manic depression, this cycle is hauntingly familiar and impeccably captured.

In an odd way, there is almost an indie sensibility to this record. As much as it is danceable and club-ready, it would not feel out of place as the soundtrack to an A24 film. There is an intrinsic humanistic quality to this record, something that I think many electronic producers have a hard time (or no intent on) capturing. This record, and Sega Bodegas work as a whole, possesses a humbled confidence. It is presented in a way that feels almost matter-of-fact- an interesting take on something as subjective as feeling. It is a tender and accurate expression of an unquestioningly turbulent experience. There is no doubt about the niche Sega Bodega has carved for himself as a techno innovator, and I believe he is deservedly on his way to being cemented as a pop icon.

Upcoming tour dates:

5/10 – New York, NY @ Under The K Bridge (w/ Björk)
05/31 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Festival
07/11 – Gräfenhainichen, GER @ Melt Festival
07/18 – Dour, BELG @ Dour Festival
08/24 – London, ENG @ Field Day Festival
11/01 – Torino, IT @ C2C Festival

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