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Daniele Baldelli & DJ Rocca – Space Scribble review

For those with an interest in the leftfield side of European disco, the recent renaissance of legendary Italian DJ Daniele Baldelli has been an exciting development. For those outside of Northern Italy, Baldelli remained a marginal figure for many years. Although he – and, it could be argued, compatriot Beppe Loda – invented the cosmic disco sound in the late 1970s and early 80s, it’s only in the last decade that the sound has been celebrated across the globe.

This renaissance has been good for Baldelli on a number of levels, not least in allowing him to pursue music production in a serious way for the first time in his 30-year career. Baldelli productions are still relatively rare, but when they come along they’re invariably worth a listen.

This collaborative EP with fellow Italian spinner DJ Rocca is his first release since 2009. It sees the duo give contemporary nu-disco a fresh new twist, adding obvious Italo, cosmic and old skool electro influences. Nowhere is this more evident than on lead track “RoBa Che Scotta”, where the veteran duo add simplistic, stargazing melodies to a rough, appregiated groove. There’s beauty within the heavy analogue beats and bassline, but they never lose sight of the dancefloor. It’s a retro-futurist delight. Ichisan provides a slightly grubbier, disco-centric rework for those who dig straight-up nu-disco.

The EP finishes with the title track. Similarly melodic and intergalactic in its construction, “Space Scribble” has an endearing, child-like quality thanks to a sprightly mix of original electro beats, swirling chords and analogue synth riffery. It’s a great end to Baldelli’s best EP yet.

Matt Anniss