I sit back and breathe in slowly, completely relaxed. It’s the end of a sunny autumn day. The sun gradually sets in the distance; it’s warm glow so vibrant and rich, it nearly seems permanent. Deep88’s LP, The Black Album, gradually places me into a gleeful hypnosis.
Alessandro Pasini, aka Deep88, is an Italian producer based in the province of Forlì-Cesena and founder of the Zomarec record label. Without having first listened to Pasini’s ‘The Black Album’ it could be easily assumed that its content has some affiliation with the darker side of music. Yet moments into the first track, it quickly becomes apparent that this assumption is incorrect. Deep88 entices the listener into a relaxed euphoria with his beautiful, dream-like melodies that are reflected throughout the whole LP.
The first track, Harmony, fills my ears with a sun drenched melody. Before too long my mind is following the gentle rhythmic guidance of sensitive hi-hat’s and a wholehearted kick drum. Snare triplets keep me on my toes; an ingredient that adds some spice to the slowly stirred pot of lush, deep melodies.
SP1200 gets straight to the point with a solid kick drum and some funky bass to set the groove. Following not too shortly after is an edgy hi-hat, seeming not to worry about subtlety like ‘Harmony’. Just as I’m about to get ready for some funky, industrial beats, Deep88 soothes my slight aural anxiety with a trickle of ambient melodies layered over the rhythm. The bass accompanies the ambient visitor with a free flowing simplicity; all the while the hi-hat is showing no remorse with its harsh and prominent consistency. SP1200 is a driving, yet rewarding track that starts you at the base of its mountain with a slow but steady outlook. Soon enough you’re in the clouds, trekking on with an acid synth induced eagerness to reach the pinnacle. Without delay you’ve reached the highest physical point and gradually the descent draws closer. The hi-hat gives out for a short while, allowing the acid and ambient melodies to give you a heartfelt goodbye.
Me Myself and an MPC is the heaviest and most driving track on the LP. Enlisting the help of repetitive claps and a dense, resonant kick drum, Me Myself and an MPC asserts itself from the beginning of the track. For those more inclined towards easy listening, don’t fret; Deep88 hasn’t forgotten you on this one. With the introduction of some precise hi hats, the distinctive ambient melody glides in over the top, complemented by an even more thunderous kick drum than before. Midway through the percussion fades out and the listener is left with inspiring melodies layered with what sounds like a sample of a gusty breeze. This combination produces a mountainous, high altitude atmosphere similar to SP1200. However, this time there’s no ascent and descent. The track continues upwards, motivated by the reintroduction of vigorous percussion. We finish up the way we left off- hitting the ground running. If SP1200’s conclusion was a guided, meditative path down from the climax, Me Myself and an MPC takes its descent with gusto. There’s no emotional embrace of ambience, but a few percussive, bass driven bars utilizing those repetitive claps. Eventually some atmospheric white noise slowly engulfs our attention and sends us to the end of the piece.
‘The Black album’ maintains a consistent theme of bliss and elation through the use of uplifting melodies, deep, funky baselines and distinguished highs. Deep88 successfully attempts to take the listeners on a range of experiences, starting with some relaxed and vibrant tracks such as Harmony (Intro) and Harmony. Gradually the LP progresses in its intensity, showing off tracks more dance orientated. ‘Rotation’ and ‘Face It’ do exactly this via the use of heavier percussion, all the while remaining lenient enough for melodies to flow freely to immerse the listener in the LP’s beautiful auditory landscape. Following SP1200, side 3 of the LP uncovers some lovely treats, ‘Schangshanne’ and ‘Chord Prog’. These dance ready tracks continue the increase of groove and act as a vehicle for the listener to progress onto the heaviest track of the LP, Me Myself And An MPC. Finishing up, Sunday Morning introduces the sound of some intricate flute arrangements, layered over the rhythm. Quite animated in its performance, the flute accompanies the consistent and tranquil supporting sounds seamlessly, producing a playful, yet soothing end to the ‘The Black Album’.
Buy The Black Album HERE