Recommended: ItaloJohnson – ITJ05
Hands down, ItaloJohnson pressed one of the deepest grooves of 2011 with their third untitled white label. There are three simple statements that sum up the trio’s goals and ideals: “ItaloJohnson combines different influences and aesthetics through a very uncomplicated musical formula. ItaloJohnson is in no way trying to reinvent the wheel, rather trying to create reduced and functional sketches which can carry emotions through a DJ & dancefloor oriented sound. ItaloJohnson believes in the principle of simplicity and tangibility. Vinyl is the medium, of which this principle and passion will be shared and passed on.” Functional sketch perfectly describes the A-side of “ITJ003”, which uses a one bar bassline to draw you in for eight minutes of pure dance floor bliss. Abandoning the 12” format this time around, they present us with two jams on 10” (clearly the ways of Bob West Norwood Casette Library are catching on). With “ITJ005” they stick to the pattern and as Kerri Chandler would say: “fuck all of that light fluffy weak shit, let’s get back to the raw”.
In total ItaloJohnson fashion “A1” revolves around a billowing digital bassline and clap that brings to mind Mood II Swing’s classic “Move Me”. The upfront sample, in it’s various states of distortion, adds a layer of familiarity to the track: you may not be sure where it’s from but you know you’ve heard it before and more importantly you like it. Beyond that it’s all kick and releases of noise. This is one of those moments where we are once again reminded of how little it takes to make bodies move. Make another tally mark for the B-side on your whiteboard because on this record it wins again. “B1” is the more playful of the two tracks, which reacquaints us with their spot on vocal chops. As expected a lot of classic sounds make their way into the mix, a product of their more apparent influences. All of their prior tracks show a person that crafts hypnotic basslines with ease and this one’s no different. A low-end that plays more like a percussion instrument carries through for a lengthy eight minutes and aided by the sampled Zhane chanting “it’s a groove thang”, we’ve stumbled on yet another winner. Let’s not forget the perfect pads that sit at such a perfect frequency they enter almost unnoticed as well. This is a total gem we are ecstatic to share with all of you.
Stream: ItaloJohnson – Untitled B1 (ITJ005)
ItaloJohnson has constructed another pair of winners. This is one of those rare groups that’s lack of a public image means absolutely nothing; the tracks speak for themselves. Guided by their three point ethos they’ve become a stable in our DJ sets and are our go to tracks for those moments when we need an instantaneous response.
ItaloJohnson’s ItaloJohnson 5 is available now.