Ricardo Villalobos has a new album called Dependant and Happy out next week, and NPR Music is streaming it all week long ahead of its release. It's minimal techno with lots of uptempo beats and good vibes. Intricate drum programming takes center stage, with each beat being precise and complex. NPR Music calls it differently though: "First, escapism. One of the great things about a pop song — or pop culture in general — is the way it can help us forget about our troubles for three minutes or remember the days when we first heard it. Our brains cling to the choruses and anticipate the hooks. We're preoccupied with the moment, be it ecstatic or nostalgic. It's a wonderful feeling — and the antithesis of Villalobos' work.
The idea of disassociation in music is a little different. You're not escaping from anything so much as you're proactively going someplace else, and there's not necessarily a thread between your memories and the experience at hand. Instead of suppressing reality, the brain essentially conjures a new one. You're disassociating yourself with everything extraneous to the music — and when you're listening to the Chilean-born, German-raised Villalobos, that's a lot easier than it sounds."