September 15, 2006

Label Profile: Elettronica Romana


There have been more than a couple reviews of Elettronica Romana releases that describe the labelís sound as ďintelligent techno.Ē As much as my knee-jerk response is to shun, shudder and/or scream at such terminology, the tag might still be at the very least pointing in the right direction. Whatís missing, though, is the velocity. The one consistency of the label through the high-end of Giorgio Gigliís trance inflections to the low-end of Maurizio Cascella & Joe Casagrandeís dub marches, is how each single becomes utterly cerebral. But as far as descriptions, cerebral is definitely not precise enough. Founded under foundations of arpeggiated analog synths, Elettronica Romanaís discography reveals a roster of artists willing to hypnotically bridge the divide between a caress and a shove.

Although the labelís blurb of a biography pinpoints its origins to Remix, a famous record store in Rome, it also leaves out just enough for a little free-form techno bollocks mythology to maneuver. Sure, Donato Dozzy has bounced around with Berlin labels like Lan Muzik and Orange Groove, but heís an exception to the rule. Both Modern Heads and Giorgio Gigli have blossomed primarily on Elettronica Romana. Their contributions have given the label a novel spaced-out form of trance thatís alien to current cinematic stabs found on the Border Community label or other under-currents that are polyrhythmically bouncing around Berlin. With eight releases in the past two years and three currently in tow, Elettronica Romana has culled together a very strong base to a sound thatís bound to go further into the black hole of ďmore deep/space/trance.Ē

Key Releases

Giorgio Gigli - Geometrik Forms EP [e.r. 002]
From the first kick-drum, itís apparent that the Geometrik Forms EP chugs along with a complete disregard of pit stops. Gigliís endurance is fuelled by a healthy dose of Kraut- the EPís two sides take all the vibrant atmospheric arpeggios of trance, discard the anthemic traps, and then coast into a hypnotic stretch of motorik rhythm.

Donato Dozzy & Brando Lupi - Destination: Eskimo EP [e.r. 003]
Hypothesizing a mash-up of Monoton and your favorite Italo-disco track, the first part of this single (done solo by Dozzy) could birth a new bastard genre: claustro-disco. Following the famous German groupís predilection for huge analog synthesizers, Dozzy might want to consider renaming his instrument the Seekrank synth; the trackís arpeggiated line wobbles in disorienting extremes, leaving many hunched over the side as the ship presses onward.

Modern Heads - Paper Toys EP [e.r. 008]
Paper Toys‚Äô final track, “Puzzle” might find the group sculpting the airy expanse usually reserved to DJ jet setters like the Wighnomy Brothers, but the rest of the EP‚Äôs path is far more grounded. Perhaps even underground, as “Cartoon” burrows into the paradox of being equally antiseptic and damp, and “Toy” applies both vantages, using and leaving micro-house in the dust.

[Nate DeYoung]