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Italians Do It Better

Italians Do It Better head honcho Mike Simonetti got his start in the New York City underground House scene in the late 1980's. As a teenager he promoted parties at the legendary dance club Mars. Twenty years, countless edits, mixes & DJ gigs around the world later, Italians Do It Better is pleased to present Mike's first slice of original music. "Capricorn Rising" is songs for the dance floor & the party after the after party.

Anyone who's ever been on a trip through Mike's basement knows it's like a visit to a museum of recorded music of the 20th century. In these crates you can easily find the 1st Carl Craig 12" stacked up against a pile of unopened Whitehouse LP's he found in a dumpster somewhere resting beside a Bush Tetras test pressing. If you've caught one of his infamous DJ sets, you know he can keep the dance floor playful, heady & obscure all at the same time. His recordings are equally eclectic. Alternating between pulsating rhythms & atmospheric clouds. He blurs the lines between major, minor, & motorik.

The lead track "Third Of The Storms" is a collaboration with Australian pop singer Sam Sparro. It started three years ago in a hotel room in New Zealand with Johnny Jewel. The video for "Black and Gold" came on in the middle of the night. They were both intrigued by what they heard & Sparro would continue to come up in conversation a few more times over the years. Sam would often play Mike's Whitney / Swizz Beats edit to warm up the audience right before hitting the stage. They initially got in touch over twitter & were introduced in person at a hotel in Manhattan. Hands were shook & champagne flowed. A gentlemen's agreement was made, he was the perfect man for the job. Sam offered to sing on a track if Mike would remix a song for his upcoming album.  Sparro's voice glides & harmonizes like a soft cloud over Mike's ambient sound of the Autobahn via the Pulaski Skyway. "Third Of The Storms" was recorded in studios on both coasts. The vocals were layed down in Los Angeles & the beat was programmed in New Jersey (the title was lifted from Hellhammer, one of Simonetti's favorite proto black metal bands). "Song For Luca" is an instrumental Disco burner dedicated to Mike's first born. The beat nods towards both Krautrock & big room Progressive House, a genre generally ostracized by Disco & House purists. With it's wall of hypnotic pipe organs, "Dust Devil" sounds like it could easily fit on a soundtrack from the 80's scored by Mike's long lost Italian uncle Claudio or Amon Duul. The piano based "Renko's Theme" is an abstract homage to Hill Street Blues. The title track "Capricorn Rising" gallops along relentlessly over sheets of distorted guitars & weather patterns. Cover concept & design by Johnny Jewel with airbrush work by Branko Vranic. The liner notes boast that Mike uses Dunkin Donuts exclusively. There's always room for Ice Cream.

Published: June 24, 2011