In a recent interview with Resident Advisor, Joy Orbison stated that Madteo was such an interesting character that he simply had to put the Italian producer’s face on the sleeve of his debut 12” for the newly minted Hinge Finger imprint. The Bugler Gold record and its cover, a greyscale image of Madteo, eyes locked in a steely glare with hair slicked back in a cartoonish quiff, gave him a lot of new admirers, and it happened to arrive in the midst of a breakthrough year for the New York based artist, real name Matteo Ruzzon.
So far in 2012 he has been remixed by four doyens of underground electronic music in Kassem Mosse, Anthony Shake Shakir, Marcellus Pittman and Hieroglyphic Being – the first three courtesy of Belgian label Meaksuma, the latter on Rabih Beaini’s Morphine Records. More recently he curated a cassette-only mixtape for Will Bankhead’s The Trilogy Tapes label, arguably the ultimate seal of approval in the world of leftfield musical esoterica.
His grubby, distorted, basement-friendly sound draws mostly on strains of house, techno and hip-hop; in previous years he’s supplied the critically worshipped Workshop imprint as well as the aforementioned Morphine with original productions that veer between dust-coated beatdown to Dance Mania-style fun (the 7-inch release for Workshop featured a seemingly infinite “Motherfuckers – what up!” vocal loop).
Madteo’s debut appearance on DJ Sotofett’s Wania, an offshoot of the endlessly diverting Sex Tags Mania, was first hinted at around the time of the release of Wania 02 (Sofofett’s 909 homage Dritfett), and now comes to fruition with “We Do…” The track doesn’t appear in its original form on this 12”, with Sotofett himself turning in a “NYC dub” remix. The beefy drums, skipping hats and chopped vocals have a fuzzy, distorted Livejam bump to them, while the bassline oscillates in an outrageous, almost self parodying manner, fully aware of how ridiculous it sounds.
As is the norm for a label which prides itself on casual misinformation and colourful subversion, the A-Side is taken up from a wholly unknown artist known as Yo Trance Lie. “Cosa C’e’ Sotto?” sees star gazing keys float up from a bed of lithe drums, with a croaky-voiced narrator suggesting “it’s time to find another man … before he breaks your heart”. Just like its B-Side counterpart, it captures the essence of the Sex Tags cult on wax – raw, original and distinctly odd, creating an exotic little soundworld all of its own.
1. Trance Yo Lie – Cosa C’e’ Sotto?
2. Madteo – We Do… (DJ Sotofett NYC dub mix)