Italy is now one of techno's most prolific exporters, if Drumcode's new EP 'The Napoli Connection' rings true for the whole country.
Featuring four significant tracks from five Naples producers, the EP is proof that even at a township level, there is an abundance of techno talent capable of impressing even the most experienced of international DJs.
Afterall it is Adam Beyer who ultimately pays homage to the city's thriving techno scene by bringing together tracks from Joseph Capriati, Sasha Carassi, Luigi Madonna, Rino Cerrone and Markantonio for one big Neapolitan Drumcode release.
Beyer says Naples is now one of his favourite places in the world to play. On the basis of these tracks, it's not hard to see why: 'The Napoli Connection' EP positively brims with raw rhythm, new ideas, and uncompromising club sounds, a sure sign of the city's techno intelligence.
That could be attributable to Naples' comparatively rich techno foundations. Since the mid-1990s, Marco Carola and Gaetano Parisio have flown the flag for the city, and a succession of locally raised DJs that includes Davide Squillace, Danilo Vigorito, Random / Noize, and Rino Cerrone, has given Naples great kudos in recent years.
No doubt this EP will be good for the city's image too. Sasha Carassi's militaristic, snare-driven 'Drumline' offers an intoxicating mechanical take on techno. Marching with a frenetic intensity, the track's aggressive loop-based system is propelled by shifts in beat structure that are subtle yet smart.
Joseph Capriati's 'Vesuvio' brings an entirely different take on the sound. Named after the volcano which lurks on the horizon of Naples, the cut bubbles with brooding bass and whining synths, dominated by a bass and synth call and response pattern, before an unexpected gaseous explosion erupts out of its craterous breakdown.
Rino Cerrone and Markantonio add a touch of acid and drama to the EP with their joint effort 'Junction Hands'. Fueled by noisy FX, filtered lines, and a cute, squelchy drop, it's one of the record's more curious offerings.
That leaves Luigi Madonna to close out the EP. As a producer and DJ, Madonna jumped to minimal techno in 2004 after years spent in the house trenches, but his '7 Swords' track has not a shred of either genre.
Instead, he takes us on an undulating ride through mountains of sound, sweeping FX, and warehouse-destroying techno, with a brash yet attractive dancefloor confidence. Of course, that's just the Italian way.
(Words: Terry Church)