Loose Lips

Rico Casazza - Transmutation (MRG016)

Release Review

Rico Casazza - Transmutation (MRG016)

6 years since its inception, Murge Recordings is only releasing its 16th record. Boasting an unabashedly sporadic discography, the label has released records by revered names such as K Alexi Shelby, Mark Ambrose, Oskar Szafraniec and Wavescape despite its intermittent nature. A large portion of the Murge output was reserved solely for MP3 releases, including tracks by Orlando Voorn, Jordan Peak and Robert Armani. Intentionally shrouding the imprint in a veil of mystery and consternation has paid dividends for the oft-quiescent label boss Kelly Wainwright. 

Kelly has turned to the expatriated-Italian Rico Casazza for the latest Murge endeavour; a character well-versed in umpteen disparate genres as demonstrated by his impressively varied sonic explorations spanning the last decade. Having left his homeland aged 19 to make a go of London’s concrete jungle, his eyes brimming with passion and trepidation, Federico expeditiously began to imbibe the all-consuming musical civilization he’d put himself in the midst of.

Rico’s core production prowess remains atypically unswayed, characterised by pulsating rhythm and functionality, evoking staunch images of the city into which he is ingrained. Therefore it is unsurprising that the titular track ‘Transmutation’ is naturally aligned with his customary dancefloor formula. Underpinned by an astonishingly dense yet forgiving kick drum that alludes to a true mastery of long-studied craft, mellifluous organ-like keys reverberate gently in the background, allowing for mercurial synth stabs to permeate throughout the track without disturbing the congruent collective warmth it exudes. The discordant yet textured chords ebb and flow throughout, imbuing the 4 x 4 waves with a subtle intensity and a smattering of pleasant euphoria. The ingenuity and contemporaneous nature of the track makes it the standout piece on this record.

AA1 gives us a remix of Transmutation courtesy of UK-Techno stalwart Kirk Degiorgio aka As One. A certified veteran of a historic scene, enlisting Kirk is undoubtedly a no-brainer with guaranteed results. Degiorgio’s spin on A1 takes it into the faddish pounding techno realm and makes it nigh-on unrecognisable, with the aforementioned elements all but vanished. The concoction shows Degiorgio’s ability to (trans)mutate and conform in a period rife with big-room techno, however the homogeneity of such efforts to ensure dancefloor head-nodding and fist-pumping can lead to a distinct lack of charm. Despite the absence of Degiorgio’s well documented magic, AA1 ticks all the boxes with regards to its club construction.

Another UK electronic legend was tapped up for the second remix; Allen Saei aka Aubrey. Releasing his first record in 1990 at the age of 19, the ageing cosmopolitan musician has since released a staggering number of records under various pseudonyms. Constantly reinventing himself but never in line with perceived trends, Aubrey has vehemently barricaded himself from the hype-trains that many producers of his generation boarded long ago. His take on Transmutation stays fairly true to the melody of the original to begin with, whilst anachronistically muffling the percussion and giving it a murky edge. As the remix develops during the breakdown, Aubrey begins to implement his trademark eccentricity by masking the primary melody underneath a macabre chord progression. The tracks’ rumbling, jilted complexion is comparable to Blawan’s old pieces on Hessle and R&S, the characteristic off kilter thump frequented by oddball analogue arps.

This 4 x 4 dancefloor-orientated release gives DJs three anatomically distinct beats sure to do damage in the club scene and catering to all sub-species of house and techno. Hopefully however, the main outcome of this record will be a wider appreciation of, and a predilection for, Rico Casazza’s palpable talent.

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https://www.redeyerecords.co.uk/vinyl/104587-mrg-016-rico-casazza-transmutation

Released 28th Jan 2019.