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Paolo Mosca - La Teoria Delle Stringhe Vol. 2 (Slow Life, 2020)

A masterclass in hypnotic and boundless electronic music that delves deep into the consciousness of the dance floor.

When dance music really moves melodically, its flow dictated by the direction of chordal progression, the little keys swaying in the breeze, its always a recipe for success. When the drums become more like a tool to bound it all together, the keys are allowed the freedom to really move the listener towards new areas of understanding and enjoyment. Its the sort of formula that has gone hand in hand with the tunes that utilise the breaks and the drums to the same effect, its either music that surprises you with its capacity to excite through tempo, or its ability to delve deep into the emotive experience some want to get into on the dance floor. It evokes great passion and feeling from deep within, a soundscape that contains enough life to be considered a living breathing world. It touches our emotional needs, creating a underlying sense of satisfaction that only the deep shit can get to grips with. Deep house, Detroit Techno, IDM, ambient, all had this sort of thing going on, where the chordal changes and textures came into its own as a electronic tool to get people to connect, without words, to an imagined world prepared and dressed up by the producer. The atmospheres hint at an awakening within all of us, and its these kinds of connections that always mean something, further endearing us to these kinds of producers and their ways of doing things. For those practising these ideals now, its their approach of digesting former scenes and genres and giving it a modern twist, filtering out the notions of 90s-ness and giving it all a fresh glean, creating new connections to audiences that they themselves had nurtured through their understandings of the past. They join the dots, and we slot ourselves right in there alongside them.

Paolo Mosca has been creating these kinds of connections since his debut last year. His music fuses all the classic hallmarks of 90s progressiveness, the house flavours, the big bombastic trance feels, the quirky switches of chord progressions often associated with breakbeat, and the emotive deepness of 90s techno, with all the slickness and thoughtfulness associated with contemporary thinking. Its the diversity too which he always engages with on his releases, looking to dip into not just one but many a style, creating a series of narratives that play out wonderfully with each other as the record goes on. You always receive the dosage of deep drums colliding with beautiful keys and pads, with each track giving over another side of the spectrum for us all to engage with and enjoy. Be it his debut 'Universal Vibes' record from 2019, that introduced us to the producer with a record filled with character, transitions and beautiful contrasts between bass driven rhythm and chordal arrangements from up high; or his 'La Teoria Delle Stringhe Vol. 1' EP, again from last year, that displayed a softer side to proceedings, weaving between cosmic house and powerful rhythmic techno. With these two releases, Mosca demonstrated his vision with style and finesse, a producer with a broad view of stylistic expression, along with showcasing how diversity is never a bad thing within releases. The emotion is all there, the progressions are so very good, and it all wraps together effortlessly.

And now we arrive at his latest, the follow up to Vol 1, 'La Teoria Delle Stringhe Vol. 2', out on the label Slow Life. From the off, we are greeted by yet more exploration, more blends, new feels and tones, and it is like the natural movement through the lines comes very naturally to Mosca. All of the previous positives from his past releases make an appearance, but there is so much more melodic things to get to know, its really just a treat to continually be served up something new each time, yet remain in the same realm somewhat. Producers who consistently push the boat out a bit further each time are setting the new levels and standards, and Mosca is no different. So lets get into it.

Up first comes 'Now I Know Their Name', and we begin in the tempo territory. The drum beat is interlaced and complex, the high riding hi hats and snares occupying the top ends, whilst the kicks, shakers and bass move and groove underneath. The additional cymbals move the beat forward, before it all cuts away to give us a hard hitting breakbeat inspired chordal breakdown. This is allowed to act alone for a couple of movements, before the drums come pounding back into the picture. Not only that, but the space pads swell magnificently in the backdrop, creating a backdrop that is melodically deep as it is contrasted superbly, the intricate main key line acting alongside the pads with ease. Then the movement into the emotive moment is seamless, the pads taking control as the little acidic line moves in front. Its these moments that always make a Mosca record special, but here it feels even more special, the movement from the more dancey movements into ripples in time that make you ponder and think. The track once again reverts back to its original composition, where we move our bodies to the rhythm. Grand. Next comes 'Fusion of Elements', where we are greeted to some beautiful pads overlaying a beat that remains subtle at the moment. It is quickly followed by a breakdown that reveals the innards, the bass line joined by a melodic line that moves in and around on top. The flying kicks and such that abound on top give the rhythm a real sense of life, as the track then shifts back into the powerful melodic layering. The movements between all manner of structures and compositions is wonderful, really adding to the manner of a audial journey through the lines. Every time we are greeted with a breakdown, it feels exciting, well considered and full of life, enriching and refreshing to say the least. Its the blends that constantly move around and about, gracefully changing from the full to the sparse and full again with such ease. Its beautiful.

Next comes the big one, 'Fulmine'. The drums are full of passion and drive, sure to whip up interest and engagement wherever they go. The build up comes on slowly, building to a point where our attention is completely in it, before it descends into a proper 90s fuelled bass sequence, melodically setting the scene for what might occur next. This bass line continues, the tune now moving into the expansive territory, before it slows down for just a second, before exploding into life with the intro of a key solo that creates that real moment of magic. The breakdown occurs, where the pads set the environmental tone, before it all kicks right back into it once more, the structure of the intro coming back into play. Here the variations become very apparent, as Mosca manoeuvres his signature drumming blends in and around the beat, providing little moments of melodic switch ups. Its the transitions here that are so on point, swerving between all manner of notions and feels, creating a narrative that speaks volumes to the listener. fire! finally, we have 'Aria', that begins with the gentle hum of the synth. The swinging beat makes an appearance, creating a dynamic that hits very hard indeed. This structure is allowed to play out for a few bars, before moving into the dubby part, the bass line prominently displayed within the beat, as the track hits its stride. Before long, we are greeted with some delightful 90s inspired stabs, adding character and flavour to proceedings, before in true dream house fashion, the graceful pads move back into view. Its a melodic and textural masterclass, the sounds swirling in and around the beat with ease and class. The composition could last a life time, and is a fantastic slow burner to ease us off the energy levels of the previous cuts.

Mosca really flexes here, pulling off a series of environments that demonstrate the very best in pulling listeners through a journey of compositions and styles that give us maximum fulfilment. Its this blend and movement between the open and the closed, the atmospheres crafted are significant and boundless, beautiful and intriguing. Its an understatement to suggest that whatever Mosca touches turns to gold, it always does.

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