Italian vinyl only imprint Castanea Records has long been on our radar as a quiet achiever, delivering understated releases of the highest calibre to those in the know. Their latest release, CST009, is an EP that might just give of the scene’s best kept secrets it’s time in the sun. The 12” in question is brought to us by label bossman Modbox, aka Patrizio Restelli, who makes his debut on the imprint with the aptly titled ‘The Science Behind First Impression’. The EP delivers 3 of Modbox’s original steam-powered cuts and one remix from minimal techno don Topper.
Our premiere is Halo Effect: kicking off the EP with its raw, analogue vibes. The track strikes the ideal balance between stripped down and heavy-hitting. The drums are sharp and clean, and the arrangements are tight and efficient, locking us into a heads-down bop from the beginning. Add a sprinkling of zips and squelches, and an unintelligible vocal, and you get the mind-bending madness that’s just what the doctor ordered. Unsurprisingly, the track as previously been described as reminiscent of “a hazy Villalobos and Zip after-hours session”. We couldn’t agree more.
The rest of the EP carries the same effortless groove and raw energy, albeit with distinct moods and soundscapes. A notable mention goes to the EP’s titular track, ‘First Impression’: a playful experiment with unnerving jazz that showcases the producer’s dexterity with the minimal soundscape. All four tracks could easily soundtrack a fuzzy morning at Club der Visionaere.
It’s a slice of sonic heaven that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.