Stefano Rocchi & Moonlite Bunny Ranch :: Double review (Love Blast)

Cyclical rhythms brooded over my maniacal musicians with mutated melodies on their mind, and at their fingertips.

I only discovered the Love Blast label a couple of months back, but the Italian imprint’s blatant disregard for the norm has really made an impact on me. The Rome label tinkers and toys with the parameters of Techno. I know, many will immediately be ready for a red-faced retort; “Who isn’t doing that?!?!?!” Eh, but gimme a chance here.

Stefano Rocchi may not be a name known to many, but this Italian has been beavering away at the digital end of electronic releases for a number of years. The Italians are debuting Rocchi on vinyl with something special. Mind bending Techno carved out of decaying analogue machinery. Charcoal is heaped atop ash. Emboldened beats, with a base instinct, threaten acid tinged ambience. Tracks like “Overclock” pour bass bruised 303 from a height, hypnotic percussion leading the listener into the abyss. That same trembling pulse is utilized for “Technology,” monotone chords coiling into that self-same darkness. But not all is shadow and murk. The EP is bookended by lighter works. “Insomnia” floats, quivering bars quake as a rumbling intensity builds whereas “Confusion” is a whirring, gurgling and uplifting piece of experimentation. Synth arcs flowing into the ether. [Contatto]

The latest EP, from the asylum inspired appellation Moonlite Bunny Ranch, is described as “Freeform Techno.” Now that might have many the purist reaching for their gun, but take a deep breath and get ready for revelations. The beat patterns are in place, rough and raw machine snaps and bass. But across the 12” melodies are strung out, stretched and soulfully sung. The three man group of Riccardo Chiaretti, Pierluigi Ferro and Lorenzo Macinanti are an unlikely triumvirate, two producers alongside a saxophone player. But this is no Future Jazz project, nor is it some sort of Planet E pastiche. Instead the 12” combines blackened, primitive, percussion alongside free flowing strings and harmonies. Tracks like “Pitch Blue” grate and bellow, drawing the listener into this sepulchral world. Unease is punctuated with distress, “Louisiana House” crying out amongst the crows and ravens. Those rain-filled clouds loom throughout, breaking for the scraping horn work of “Black Cotton Fields” with a deluge of despair. [Downer]

Love Blast are doing what very few other labels are, and deserve attention for it. Extraordinarily dark, mechanical and dangerously mesmerizing. The tools of Berlin have been turned on their head. Cyclical rhythms brooded over my maniacal musicians with mutated melodies on their mind, and at their fingertips. I know one thing, I’m wanting more.

Downer and Contatto are both available on Love Blast.

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