Review: Italian DJ/producer Carmelo Carone has been active on the Milan scene since the early '90s, though it took him until the tail end of the noughties to get into the studio. The people behind Chicago's re-born TRAX label clearly see something in him, though, and here give the veteran producer a deserved chance to shine. "Underground Spirit" is something of a deep and dreamy gem, with clear influences from vintage Larry Heard productions, early Chicago acid, and the spine-tingling loveliness of late '80s Italian house. "Bronx", meanwhile, doffs a cap to early-to-mid '90s New York house, with garage style organ stabs and reverb-laden vocals riding a smooth deep house groove.
Review: "Chicago" is a pure jacking house tune which features all the hallmarks of the Trax Records sound: the legendary Windy City label which founded the house and acid house legacy. Milanese legend Carmelo Carone fits with the unique sound of TRAX, which is said to have very much influenced over the years his artistic identity. The "UK mix" gets a bit darker and dubbier with those MK style keys atop, which are a great touch. There's also some fine remixes on offer, but for our money it's all about the tough, swing fuelled jack courtesy of the Hologram Hookers which is reminiscent of classic Armand Van Helden or Miky Talarico's slow burning cosmic disco rendition.
Review: A veteran of the Italian house scene since the early 90s, Carmelo Carone has been A&R and label manager for the mighty Trax Records since 2015, in which guise he's brought us remixes and edits of classic cuts from the likes of Larry Heard, Frankie Knuckles and Todd Terry. Now his debut long-player has arrived, and as you'd expect, classic house influences abound, particularly those of Mr Fingers-style Chicago deepness and the Italian dreamhouse of the 90s. From the piano-sprinkled 'Way Out' to the more techno-leaning 'Yokota', via the sultry, garage-y vibes of 'Lost Sound' and the Eastern-tinged cosmic throb of 'All About Me', there's much to enjoy here.
Review: Remixer Darren Studholme is the latest artist to feature on Trax. The 'Black Hole' mix of "Trouble Acid" pays homage to the seminal Chicago label's past, with wild 303 twists unfolding over frosty filters. Meanwhile, "Hypochlorous Acid" takes Hardfloor's 90s sound as a starting point, and sees curling acid lines accompanied by a driving backing track, while in stark contrast, "The Light - Acid Warp Mix" matches up a soulful female vocal with dramatic chord builds and tingling 303s. On "Hyper Acid", Studholme goes deeper as frosty synths and bristling acid lines come together over a driving rhythm. "Acid Prelude" ends this fine release, paying tribute again to Trax's legacy with a wild Roland workout.