Published Jan 15, 2019Producer, label owner and all-around techno ambassador Marco Passarani has helped guide Italy's techno trajectory since the early '90s. Now, having spent much of his recent time working as one half of Tiger & Woods, he's released W.O.W., his first full-length of proper solo material in 14 years.
As such, it should be of interest to anyone with their ear to the Italian techno scene, and (expectedly), it delivers in terms of quality as well, offering up a solid eight-track set of Detroit-style techno-funk.
It's a well-crafted album, opening with the evocative sci-fi styling of "Coldrain" before ultimately settling into its characteristic groove with the delicious bounce of third track "Drumy Dream," a classy, acid-dipped cut that fans of Milanese duo Acid Castello should feel right at home with. "Get Down" is probably the hardest thing on the album, featuring a robot-funk bass line that Kraftwerk would approve of, and late album highlight "Talk to Me" is noteworthy as well, its subterranean bass line and chiming synths paired to good effect.
Throughout, Passarani works with a limited but obviously well-curated set of analogue equipment — imposed parameters that (in the right hands), can lead to that rarest of elements: restraint. In this, Passarani succeeds, focusing on the fundamentals without sounding dated, while still paying heed to modern tastes in terms of pacing, fidelity and the style's general development over the years. It all amounts to a mature and refined set that isn't afraid to get a bit dirty sometimes. Hopefully we don't have to wait another 14 years for a followup. (Offen Music)