Rome’s very own Patrizio Gabrielli (Joule) makes his Heko Records debut with the “Comfortable Disharmony” EP. A title that catches the digger’s attention even before he put the needle on the disk. And if they say that a book is not judged by the cover, well maybe a record could be, especially if it’s served on a colourful minimalistic sleeve.
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With both Patrizio and Heko fierce supporters of the quality over quantity motto, the label reaches its 8th release after having released intriguing deep house and avant-garde/futuristic house gems packed with electro and minimal influences.
Opening proceedings, the super-deep “Astra” welcomes a combination of analogue spacey sounds and fat bass notes, rolling smoothly under a delicate airy and mild pluck that is constantly changing. The kick hits hard and digs deep, creating an emotive groove. The whole piece, as the title suggests, evokes cuddly melancholic feels, and the swingy 909 percussive pattern is liquid and well-balanced, perfectly melting the elements together.
Thus, the energetic “Polylove” brings the moods up. Dancefloor time. Again, the drums are very crisp and robust, with Patrizio working with the always-winning formula of kick, clap, hat and bassline for the first minute. On this one, the overall mood moves to more electronic-ish feel, also by focusing on 90s sounds, a trend that was already taken by the label in its latest releases. The heavy drums are yet combined with a chunky bassline and futuristic splashes of resonating acid lines in a flurry burst of sounds.
On the flip, “Kashmir” is the real deal of the EP. This one has been hammered by the label head honcho Giammarco Orsini over the last couple of years, and every time he dropped that, the crowd went bananas. With Gabrielli still keen to bring forward his deadly combination of 90s flavour and new-kind of house wave, the track rapidly follows into an early acid breakdown surrounded by distant delayed notes, whilst the drums are straight and in front. The lead synth is glidy and goes a super catchy and hooky melody alongside the slippery acid line. Magic.
Rounding out the package, “Tribe” gets more aggressive: the bassline gets rid of its gloomy bassline, turning into a rampant gritty sawtooth. The breakbeat mood works seamlessly, with fat snares and sharp drum elements to close the matter. Delicate synths and celestial arp-lines literally spin over our head, in stark contrast with the rough bassline, with warm chords leading the whole EP down to the end.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi