Ghost in the machine

Apr 25, 2001 at 12:00 am

Reginald Dokes is ready to be a contender.

Scratch that. He may be one already. After spending the bulk of the ’90s soaking up notes as a resident DJ for Derrick May’s Transmat label, and putting it down from Motown to Madrid, Dokes has decided to move from behind the turntables and into the studio.

His supporters have probably wondered whether the highly skilled techno whiz could make the transition from DJ to producer a smooth one. They’ll be happy to know he does not disappoint. Dokes, a culture and music-history buff, goes to great lengths to electronically “voice” his philosophies on “Metu Neter.” His breaks and mixes are imaginative and they flow over a driving rhythm track designed to help hypnotize the denizens of any packed dance floor.

“Black Thoughts,” the extended B-side, rides a slower tempo while remaining fluid enough to keep things bouncin’. It’s a steady groove that stands on its own, and it’ll also serve as an excellent bottom for mixing. But it’s the title track that’s designed to make an entrance for Dokes. “Manifestation” cranks with a rough, filtered mix that seeps into the skin and creeps to a crescendo over the course of a six-minute ride.

With techno’s popularity surging nonstop in Detroit the past two years, Dokes has bided his time, as opposed to rushing a debut to the public square. The First Manifestation’s titles fit the grooves and, for Dokes, the time is just right. Soon, he’ll take a seat in the same class as his electronic contemporaries.

E-mail Khary Kimani Turner at [email protected].