Review: It's been a fair few years now since Italian producer Massimiliano Pagliara, famed for his analogue-heavy blends of bright synthesizer melodies, pop hooks, Chicago house grooves and robust acid lines, relocated from Italy to Berlin. It's obviously been a fruitful move, as this second full-length - his first dropped in 2011 - is mostly made up of collaborations with locally based producers. Norwegian exile Telephones lends a hand on the deliciously Balearic "Long Distance Call", with one-time NYC resident Lee Douglas recalling his TBD work with Justin Vandervolgen on the murky acid assault that is "Fall Again". Elsewhere, you'll find a range of moods, ranging from the enveloping power house of "Native Tribes of Jupiter" (a hook-up with Credit 00), to the dreamy synth-pop of "With One Another".
Review: With releases on Live At Robert Johnson - including two albums - Balihu and Uncanny Valley, Pagliara might seem like an unusual choice of artist to put out music on Ostgut. That said, the Italian producer has had a long association with Berghain and was even a regular at its first incarnation. In any case, "If I Try to Forget I Will Miss You Even More" sees him ride a pulsing electronic disco groove, while on "Time And Again" he provides a rougher version of that sound as a pulsing bass and raw drums crash and pound away. "To A Faraway Place", with its insistent chord builds, is the kind of track that Steffi might play in the Panorama Bar, but it's only a fleeting nod at the club's chosen soundtrack and Pagliara quickly swings back towards the left of centre - this time with the acidic downtempo epic, "A Passing Day".
Review: Massimiliano Pagliara has been flirting with other labels over recent years - most notably Ostgut Ton and Uncanny Valley - but his heart remains with Live at Robert Johnson. As a sign of commitment, he's delivered Devoid of Dimension, an EP in two parts. Part one begins in confident fashion with the sparkling thrills of "Free at Last", where twinkling synth melodies and spine-tingling chords dance around a sweaty, occasionally cacophonous, percussion-rich groove. The melodious, electrofunk-goes-house fun continues on the thoughtful "Unstoppable Trajectory", before Pagliara drops into loved-up mode via the impeccable tunefulness and melancholic chord sequences of "Blue Eyes". Finally, the Berlin-based Italian simmers things down on rolling, slo-mo closer "Small Town Life", a pleasingly dubbed-out chunk of bass-heavy, synthesizer-driven Balearica.
Review: Feel Live is southern Italian DJ/producer Massimiliano Pagilara's third full-length for Frankfurt institution Live At Robert Johnson, following up 2011's Focus On Infinity and With One Another - released in 2014. Recorded between Los Angeles, Portland and his base in Berlin as well as at airports and on intercontinental flights, it is his most playful and imaginative work to date -featuring a variety of bold and stylish sonic narratives. Featuring vocals by Private Agenda (the lo-slung "Winter In Los Angeles"), Peaking Lights' Indra Dunis (the neon-lit disco antics of "Trust The Direction In The Wind") and the inimitable Fort Romeau on the tripped-out chilltronica of "Floating Room".
Review: Live at Bobby J's serve up this remix shaped addendum to Mr Pagliara's excellent thick set long player Focus for Infinity, with mainstays Tuff City Kids and B.H.F.V. at the controls. Anyone who's checked a Tuff City Kid production in recent times will be getting a bit excited at the prospect of a remix proper as well as some bonus acid endeavours from Lauer and Janson. Rightly so too - in their hands "A Wrong Chance" gets moulded into a heaving mass of cavernous thumping house brilliance that constantly switches between moods. Just wait for the truly haunting treatment of crystalline chords to arrive! The Acid Bonus Riddim version is the more basic variant, stripping it down to let the bass do the talking before the acid takes effect. The presence of B.H.F.V. is a welcome return for the duo who slipped out the excellent throwback electro jams on ET 01-06 earlier in the year, and their take nine minute on "In Order Of More Depth" applies a similarly bleep heavy approach amidst expansive surges of Technicolor light. Big tip for the heads!
Review: We're not sure where they found the time, but Live At Robert Johnson's Massimiliano and Gui.Tar/The Hints' Etienne - both super prolific producers - have collided for a floor-stopping fivesome of deep Balearic workouts, all of which have been composed organically with real instruments, vintage analogue machines and no MIDI whatsoever. The result ranges from Quiet Village-meets-Arthur Russell glamour of "Back But Half" to the Footprintz-meets-Ayers vibery of "Weekend Lover". Deep, gossamer-smooth and warmer than a Spanish summer, let's hope they find time to continue developing this amusing titled project.
Review: People often forget that the widely-praised Robert Johnson club is actually from Offenbach and not Frankurt, a small town situated about 10 miles out of the city centre. Over the last few years, there's been a resurgence of talent emanating from the town, such as DJ Slynsgshot and his Yappin collective and associated artists like the Vincent Feit who opens the clubs thurd instalment of the Lifesaver series with a naughty little house melter called "X04". Across the comp, other RJ casuals appear, such as Massimigliano Pagliara with "Forever What", an aptly tropical house excursion, or Philip Lauer, Fort Romeau and the lesser known Felix Strahd. All in all, this is about the best house/techno compilation we've received all year and, like everything else the club does, it is an excellent addition to their catalogue. 10/10.
Review: Like a long and blurry session at the storied Robert Johnson club, Time Travel brings the listener on a real musical journey. It moves from the low-slung disco of Massimiliano Pagliara's "Sometimes at Night" into the deep, ponderous house of Portable and Maximillion Dunbar, moving into more dance floor focused grooves thanks to Benedikt Frey and Orson Wells before Frankfurt DJ Roman Flugel drops the brilliant wide screen electro of "Girls With Status". While Time Travel does largely document music emanating from the German city, it also goes back to the 80s to include the eternal Italo classic, "Flucht" by Zwischenfall.
Review: Live At Robert Johnson's first Lifesaver compilation, released in 2013, offered an essential snapshot of the infamous club-turned-label's expanding roster, delivering tracks from respected heads and relative newcomers alike. This second installment ploughs a similar furrow, on one hand showcasing woozy dancefloor gear from familiar favourites (see Roman Flugel's formidable, sci-fi tinged analogue jam, "Tender Hooligan", and the beatbox electro-meets-spiraling synth-scapes of Lauer's "Language"), and genuinely impressive music from lesser-known names. In the latter category you'll find some genuine highlights, including the deliciously Balearic electronics of Chinsaski ("Futuresex"), and the Uncanny Valley style, semi-organic deep house chug of Benedikt Frey.