MACRO Testaccio, Spring Attitude 2015
Hello from Rome, Italy! This is the first post for a new City Dispatch — I'm introducing you to the Roman EDM local scene through 10 tracks from the city's main crews and record labels. Ready?
“A Message (Marco G. & Mr.Kite Remix)”
“She's so damn sensual and sexy and hypnotizing,” my friend Kiriko said concisely of Kelela’s performance last Saturday at Spring Attitude. Kelela — a Fade to Mind singer-songwriter in Los Angeles — sang "A Message," the opening track of her upcoming EP Hallucinogen. Touch the Wood resident Djs Marco G. & Mr.Kite remixed her track, and they will first play it live next Friday at Lanificio159. Kelela won't be there, and Romans will miss her. Marco G. & Mr.Kite will try to make up for that.
“Pog It (Original mix)”
L-Ektrica, which has been organizing Spring Attitude since 2010, has closed its season in early May at Lanificio159. On that night, people warmed up to the tunes of Matteo Rama aka Guxi. The 29-year-old Roman had started out as a drummer in a rock band — now, Guxi's Dj sets feature drum machines that merge his juvenile, traditional grip into a more complex digital production. But Guxi is still nostalgic. Last April, he released "Pog It." Guxi added: "[the] 80's are back."
White Forest Records's Luca Albino aka Capibara has just released his new LP Gonzo (free download here). The Weeknd, Shlohmo, Justin Timberlake, Rustie, James Blake, Moderat, and M.I.A. are some of the Roman producer's influences. "And many more," Capibara said last year to Dj Mag Italia. "Pretty much, things that have little to none to do with each other." His idea of music, Capibara says, is "contrast." If you don't believe him, compare the cheery "CCCP" to any of the other fourteen tracks — you may find rage and exoticism, percussions and anxiety, but hardly will one track exactly resemble another. Gonzo represents Capibara's diversity: let "CCCP" be your gateway track.
“Big Time Sensuality (Sick Tiger Remix)”
One Little Indian
Last week, Posermag.comfeatured a 45-minute mixtape by Rock'n Yolk resident Dj Sick Tiger — the eighth episode of its Posertape series. The mixtape has "everything that I wanted you to listen to," Sick Tiger said. "I was listening over and over to what I had at close hand, and I decided to mix it." This remix of Björk's "Big Time Sensuality" will give you a fair preview of Sick Tiger's mixtape.
SAVEYOURSOUL featuring EQUOHM
SAVEYOURSOUL and EQUOHM have recently worked on the track for "Lunatic Asylum," a fashion editorial by SINCE Crew. The track, as the video requires, is highly conceptual — a work about as experimental as Rome gets.
“Prendi questo treno”
Sounds Never Seen
Now, some history. Lory D, a Roman Dj, started playing in Italy's first raves in the late 80's. In 1989, he founded Sounds Never Seen with Andrea Benedetti, the country's first experimental techno label. Lory D went on to record his popular LP Antisystem with BMG records. Italian fans get nostalgic when they hear Lory D's "Prendi questo treno" — "Get on this train," the track goes. "And don't ever leave it."
Although his Dj sets are now in Philadelphia and DC and Chicago, Marco Passarani started in Rome in the early 90's. In 1994, he founded FinalFrontier with Andrea Benedetti to bring to Italy the world's best record labels — Nature Sounds, Pigna, Plasmek. Then, his label promoted local artists like Jollymusic. When it comes to Rome's EDM history, it's hard not to mention Passarani. And "Criticize" is a classic.
Jollymusic is a Roman duo that became international — for their 2001 album Jolly Bar, Mario Pierro e Francesco de Bellis worked with Kings of Convenience's Erlend Øye. The track "Talco Uno" features lyrics and vocals by Øye, and local fans today still remember Jollymusic happily.
It's almost summer time, and Grindalf has something for you — seagulls singing and water splashing accompany the track's drums in "Cadillac Drafts," the eight-minute beat tape that the Roman producer released last month. On Grindalf's Bandcamp page, you can listen to each of the track's six beats separately. (Grindalf calls the beats "small works that I didn't know how to use.")