Review: Regular collaborators Daniele Baldelli and DJ Rocca join forces once more, this time for Is It Balearic Recordings. The title track leads the way, with the duo layering thickset analogue synth motifs and acid-tinged arpeggios atop a chunky groove, before "Santana" delivers more psychedelic, cosmic-tinged thrills - all alien melodies, rolling bottom end and wild guitars. Arguably best of all, though, is "Out To Lunch", a cheery, quirky concoction that sounds like the flipside dub of some long forgotten Italian synth-pop gem. Ray Mang provides the EP's obligatory remix, offering a tougher, dub-heavy take on "Reflextion" that rises and falls in all the right places.
Review: Futureboogie's annual Summer Riot EP rarely disappoints. This year's instalment of the multi-artist extravaganza - the fifth in totak - is every bit as essential as its' predecessors. Long time friend of the family Bonar Bradberry steps up first with "Analogue Express", where bubbly synthesizer lead lines rub shoulders with Chicken Lips style bass and rich, life-affirming piano chords. Experienced Italian DJ Rocca fuses brain-melting acid lines, dark electronics and African influences on the wonky "Voodoo", before former Fila Brazillia man Steve Cobby drops a lolloping chunk of audible sunshine in the shape of "Lefthanded Books". Arguably best of all, though, is Field Theory's "Rituals", a swirling fusion of dreamy deep house, mind-altering acid, and warehouse-friendly rhythms.
Review: FAR are excited to bring Chris Coco and DJ Rocca to the label for this release. Meeting at La Casella festival in Italy in the summer of 2019, the duo decided to team up in the studio resulting in the ''Discoteca'' EP, a shimmering slice of Balearic, Disco House containing all the right ingredients and forward motion required for maximum sunshine or nightime connection. Discoteca (The Heavy Fun Dub Mix), they manage to create a heady cocktail of synth riffs, ARhodes and Guitars all underpinned by a solid bass line, nodding to the Jazz funk of Atmosphere with the edge of Dinosaur L recording in Italy circa 1982. AAntonio prosper turns up on vocals, whispering, and chanting, evoking imagery of a night out in the mid-summer heat somewhere in southern Europe.
Review: Italy's Daniele Baldelli has simply kept on innovating since he began experimenting with disco and cosmic house, back in the early 1980s. The DJ-rpducer veteran is back on Real Balearic this week, coming through with some sublime downtempo-ism in "Quagga", a slow, break-centric swarm of delicate melodies that find their own sort of off-kilter movement - not to mention revel in an endless sea of majestic, jazz-friendly sounds. There's two remixes off the back of it, both form Aimes, with the first upping the tempo and crafting more of a house sound from Baldelli's rich sonics, and the second blending in some subtle 303 nuances to make it an altogether more rave-friendly experience.
Review: Daniele Baldelli is in a rich vein of form right now, with each successive release seemingly being stronger than its predecessor. The cosmic disco pioneer's latest project is an album that impressively blurs the boundaries between his original "Afro-cosmic" sound and the horizontal world of Balearica. Predictably, it's a formula that delivers a string of musical highlights, from the woozy easy listening flourishes and head nodding throb of "Quagga" and ambient-soaked late night fluidity of "Dodo", to the restless Afro percussion and jazzy guitars and of "Megaloceros (featuring Verdo)". Those looking for more Padilla-style horizontal thrills should check the "Extra Balearic" mix of "Pongo", while Baldelli's love of vintage analogue synths and lolloping rhythms is successfully explored on album highlight "Lipote".
Review: As resident DJ at infamous Italian disco Cosmic Club, Baldelli pioneered the slow chugging grooves that evolved into both Balearic and Belgian New Beat. Here he teams up with DJ Rocco for the impressive "Poouli". The track is a super cool slice of moody early 80s new wave dance music - all moody tropical vibes, not unlike Jamaica Running by The Pool. Private Agenda's "Sunrise" mix adds ecstasy to the mix for a shimmering masterpiece and Sare Havelicek turns in a stunning, warped-chillwave style jam. Gig Masin meanwhile opts for a beatless, chiming coda. Not a dud in sight on here!
Review: Here's something to cheer: the first EP from Dimitri From Paris and DJ Rocca's collaborative Erodiscotique project following the release of last year's superb debut album on BBQ Japan. As usual, their inspirations and musical reference points tend towards the vintage. Opener "One For Frankie", for example, smothers a vintage Chicago house groove with the kind of dreamy, positive and melodious musical flourishes that were a hall mark of Frankie Knuckles best productions, while "Zanzibar" pays tribute to the bustling, percussive, synth-heavy pressure of early '80s NYC and NJ "proto-house" productions. "Don't You Feel The Same", on the other hand, wraps sweet Balearic synth lines around a chunky, "French Touch" style disco-house groove.
Review: File Under Disco have amassed some serious respect in house and new disco corners. Check these glittering grooves from Maffia Club's Rocca and you'll understand just why: "Pizza On Wednesday" struts and sways with beautifully rounded Prelude-style bass run, soft sexy vocals and charming flute parps. Elsewhere we hit "A Magical Day", a seriously spaced out, stripped back nodder that's peppered with bubbly FX, staccato synths and a muscular bassline. "Love Power", meanwhile, is as authentically disco as it gets: big strings, cheeky synth squiggles on the fills and, above all, a big old stomping groove. Feel the love!
Review: Roam Recordings out of San Francisco have been at it since the early noughties releasing great stuff by the likes of local heroes Justin Martin and Demarkus Lewis through to Rhythm Plate and even Tone Of Arc or Heretic in recent times. Next up is Luca Roccatagliati a legendary Italian DJ, musician and producer who had collborated with Daniele Baldelli and Dimitri From Paris over the years. On this nice EP he serves up "Maccheroni" a deep and semi-balaric acid house groove, but it's all about Eric "Dr. Dunks' Duncan's tough rework which really works that 303 acid into something that bit more hearty. "Aura" is yet more of the same but the remix by Black Spuma (comprised of Gerd Janson and Fabrizio Mammarella) is the real winner here on this sleek, neon-lit house anthem for retroverts.
Review: Italy's DJ Rocca has been at it for over a decade now, previously releasing on the likes of Gomma and Slow Motion and turns in some classic first wave Chicago house sounds for Manchester's El Diablos Social Club. "Lets Go Party" is a jacking, early evening groove with soaring synths, cowbells and church organ stabs; all the good stuff basically. The Brioski remix is pretty wicked, working those cowbells a lot more and injecting a kick ass arpeggio into it. "Slumber" is a smooth, downbeat chiller with some trippy and immersive synth leads flying about the place, quite cosmic actually. The remix of it by label boss Neil Diablo is quite impressive, giving it a lovely Balearic touch that transcends the astral plane.
Review: Of late, Dean Meredith's Rogue Cat Sounds label has been exploring the more cosmic and Balearic end of the musical spectrum, so it's little surprise to see him welcome Italian legends DJ Rocca and Daniele Badlelli to the imprint. The storied twosome begins in fine fashion via the lilting electric guitar solos and bubby electronic disco grooves of "Sky Dump", before opting for a weirder and more psychedelic dancefloor sound on Afro-Cosmic workout "Massive Birth" and doffing a cap to Yello on the eccentric electronics of "Talorypo". The accompanying remix package is epic and uniformly high standard, though if we were picking favourites we'd opt for Warehouse Preservation Society's warm, thickset nu-disco version of "Talorypo" and Mind Fair's Chicken Lips-esque rework of "Massive Birth".
Review: Manchester's label/clubnight combo El Diablo has a knack for releasing some pretty heavyweight edits, but this eighth installment of its To Rack & Ruin series really ups the ante. With DJ Rocca teaming up with N2B, we are treated to four precision scalpel jobs, all of which really tease out the bassy loops. Highlights include seven minute opener "Get Up" - a dubby odyssey into misty lands of shuffly beats, incessant basslines and wah-wah guitar aplenty. Also the suspended tension of Balearic mind-trip "Weird Safari" and the '80s slap bass aerobics of "Mr Rossi's Backpain" are worth checking out.
Review: In Flagranti have carved their own niche in dance music since back in the Electroclash days. This is due to their sexually charged analogue disco-funk style and sound. Here they rustle up "The Camelwalk" for Codek, a tune that sounds like a frisky Red Axes doing the soundtrack for a 70s porno with help from Bobby Konders (lots of flute!). Rayko's "Spiritual Wiri mix" features tough 4/4 drums, bass twangs, ascending arpeggios and yes, those flutes again. Inigo Vontier's mix revisits deepest, crackliest 80s Chicago and there also some cool retro beats featured in the bonus dub mix too.