Written and produced by Massimo Di Lena for Cadenza Records. Published by Copyright Control / (p) & (c) Cadenza Records 2009. Mastered by Rashad @ Dubplates&Mastering, Berlin. Distributed worldwide by www.wordandsound.net
The name may be new to you, but the artist won't be. Recording for the first time under his own name, Massimo Di Lena is the upstart Napolitan talent better known as Massi DL. Since 2006, he's been turning heads with tight, spring-loaded funk for Frankie, Trapez, Soma and his own Wordless label, a collaboration with Lucio Aquilina; more recently he's been traveling semi-incognito as one-half of Horacio, alongside Dario di Pace, and pursuing a deeper, housier direction. Now he's come up with two absolutely devastating cuts—plus two slam-bang digital exclusives—confirming his arrival as a major talent. There's no shortage of '90s-inspired house going around at the moment, but seldom does it hit like "Gypsytown" does. Featuring headlong, skipping snares and white-hot hi-hats, it grabs you by the collar from the get-go, but it never sacrifices nuance for force. Between the walking bass line, wordless vocal shots and a lush, evolving fourbar
refrain, there's something almost sweet about it—a dizzy, carefree quality, like the head-rush of new love. With pulse-raising 909 snares, perky organ counterpoints, and even a hint of two-step in the swing and the burbly bass, "Gypsytown" models itself after '90s U.K. house as much as it does Chicago or New York, and it's a worthy addition to a long, evolving tradition. "Raw Track (Shout Mix)" couldn't have a more perfect title: this is house music stripped back to its essence, with every part—chunky drum-machine beats, a squiggly Rhodes melody, chest-thumping bass and an infectious, celebratory whoop—calculated for maximum impact. Except here's the thing: it doesn't sound the least bit calculated, just lithe, limber and imbued with an almost elemental energy.