Review: Slow Motion present a brand new Italian artist Altieri. Based in the far east (currently Shanghai but he's worked as a designer across Japan too), his weighted analogue sounds are steeped in eastern influences from subtle found street sounds to all-out musical phrases. The arrangement of the EP has been carefully considered as we ignite with the slow-burning dubby inflections of "Sayoko" and the Nordic style creeps and bleeps of "Onibaku" to Black Strobe levels of rave subversion of "Ueno" and Bodzin-at-half-speed starlit tech of "Glax". A highly accomplished debut EP.
Spazio Terra (Fabrizio Mammarella version) (10:24)
Review: Italian-in-Shanghai Eugenio Altieri returns to the ever-juicy Slow Motion imprint with another body-blowing analogue jam. Bubbling with a rich acidic low-end, laced with otherworldly samples and enshrouded in just the right amount of cosmicity, it hits with a vibe that could easily be the offspring of Black Strobe and the Idjut Boys. For added dancefloor dizziness flip for a mind-melting 10 min+ remix from Fabrizio Mammarella as he over-dubs the risers with a casual degree of chaos while ramping up the bass arpeggio with avid technoid momentum. Addictively immersive.
Review: Slo Motion's Italian Dance Wave series was initiated earlier in the year, primarily to showcase "Italian artists who make music with an Italian flavour". There's naturally much to admire on this third volume, from the opening shuffle of Discodromo's stylish, mascara-clad New Wave disco jam "A Come Andromeda", to the cheery Italo-disco revivalism-meets-80s electro flex of DJ Rocca's "Backery's Track". The dancefloor highlight is undoubtedly the surging, darkroom Italo-disco throb of Le Macchine's filthy "Greg", though you'll find little as deep, dreamy and beguiling as Fratelli Riviera's wonderful "Greg". Either way, it's a fine collection of tracks.
Review: Best known for his discoid turns on the likes of Gomma and Nang, DJ Rocca makes his first appearance on Slow Motion with a dazzling spread of heavyweight grooves that speak of classic approaches with a modern tongue. The title track is an instant head grabber with its hooky refrain that switches a melodic phrase between piano, synth and bass with a kinky amount of ring modulation in the mix. It's a certified banger offset remarkably well by the more lackadaisical breeze of "Graffi" with its slow release chords and simmering beat. "Warming Funk" calls back up the freaky spirits for an off-centre party starter, and "No Dogs" settles back into the Balearic tempo, but manages to keep that creepy undertone in place for a delightfully chilling end to a sterling record.
Review: Slow Motion's Italo-focused Linea Beat series returns with Francisco at the helm. Just as he left us last year with the first instalment, it's an all-out synth escapade: "Beat Line" is straight up 80s with a quirky Yello twang shining through the myriad elements and layers. "Giuno", meanwhile, is more of a sandy-toed Balearic affair with a more modern groove that's not dissimilar to the work of 2020 Soundsystem's offshoot Silver City. Both guarantee serious moves.
Review: Operating jointly from Pescara and Berlin, the Slow Motion Disco label grew out of the collective of the same name and has been serving up vinyl helpings of discotheque dynamite since 2009. A fourth release of the year sees the label look to Francisco for the third in their ongoing series of soundtrack releases. John Carpenter and the mysterious Zio Tibia/Uncle Ankle (the label inform us Italians will know who this is!) are Francisco's stated influences on "Notte Horror", a fine seven minute journey through high octane '80s disco with rippling arpeggios aplenty.
Review: For the debut release on their new Linea Beat series, Italy's Slow Motion label has recruited the combined talents of renowned synth-fiddler Francisco (AKA Francesco de Bellis) and noted Balearic sort Cosmo. Their hook-up on the A-side, "Too Much Love", is unsurprisingly delicious, sounding like a wide-eyed, Balearic-era take on Italo-disco complete with touchy-feely vocals, undulating arpeggios and sun-bright melodies. Francisco flies solo on the flip, delivering a jaunty, guitar-laden tribute to the Rimini scene circa 1986 in the shape of the excellent "Take It" - think "I Feel Love" grooves, silly solos and quirky pop vocals.
Francisco & Cosmo - "System 3" (Delphi bonus beat) (4:51)
Review: Francisco De Bellis has forged a long career out of formulating his own particular brand of hardware-heavy electronic disco, casually blurring the boundaries between Italo, Chicago house, and the head-in-the-clouds shuffle of cosmic disco. He's at it again on the third installment of the ongoing Lineabeat series. Regular collaborator Cosimo 'Cosmo' Mandorino lends a hand on atmospheric opener "System 3", which chugs away on a wave of soft-touch machine drums, moody new wave guitars, and bubbly electronics. "Get It" sees De Bellis raise the tempo - and temperature - via stabbing vocal samples, Chicago bass, and densely layered, sweat-infused drum machine percussion. There's more 'jack' to be found on Delphi's restless, 'bonus beat' version of "System 3".
Review: Formed In Pescara and recently transposed to Berlin, Slow Motion Records drop this killer analogue disco triplet from Clap Rules don Fabrizio Mammarella which arrives on rather tasty clear vinyl. The fifth release commences in fine form with "Mercator" drawing on a surfeit of transatlantic 1980s disco influences but still sounding resolutely contemporary in its rhythmic thrust, expertly combining Balearic mood with acid attitude! Check the flip for the sexier swing of "Lie (Living In Ecstasy)" which drops to a more languid pace, weaving between low slung bass deviations and summer madness style synth rises. Adopting a similar poise is the tightly wound "Skymed" which eeks out a brilliantly funky boogie thump - on top of which Mammarella splays his finest array of analogue wigout flourishes.
Review: Italo classic rework alert! NOIA's 1983 single "The Rule To Survive (Looking for Love)" isn't perhaps the best known tune in the Italo-disco canon, but it's nevertheless well cherished by those in the know for its wide-eyed mix of dark new wave pop and Italian chic. This new Ajello makeover keeps to the spirit of the original, turning it into a delightfully bubbling chunk of new wave nu-disco - all thick arpeggiated basslines, bubbling synths, chiming melodies and hipster-ish vocals (taken directly from the original). It's probably one of Ajello's best remixes for a while, and certainly a banger. Expect to hear it a lot this summer.
Review: For those without an understanding of contemporary Italian disco producers, the geographical makeup of their country and an appreciation of vaguely prog rocky cover art, Appennini - the title of this latest offering on Slow Motion - is the name of the Italian mountain range that splits the country in two and links Rome and Chieti, the two cities from where Rodion and Fabrizio Mammarella originate. This is where the concepts end as "Eskape From Kyoto" finds the duo in splendid form, ripping through all manner of analogue equipmentation to craft a raw and trippy journey through spiralling arpeggiated modern sci fi disco - you can really picture Weatherall hammering this out to a willing audience in a sweaty basement somewhere. The same could also be said of the markedly slower, stripped back Dub offering of the same track from Slow Motion regular Alien Alien which leads the track into darker, more subversive territory. If you took that chugging arpeggio hook from Cowley's classic Donna Summer remix and proceeded to wrap it in all manner of twisting analogue euphoria it would probably sound like the final track "Majella" which ensures this is a release that any fan of contemporary Italo needs to check.