Italian label Castanea Records, have long been an understated favorite amongst heads. They make slightly twisted house music, packaging their leftfield leanings and psychedelic tendencies in workable arrangements that give their music real dancefloor potential. This kind of playable weirdness is hard to come by, and aside from select labels like Æternum Music and Nervmusic (unsurprisingly both Lowris and Denis Kaznacheev have appeared on Castanea), there are few labels who manage to pull it off as well as Modbox’s Castanea.
This enviable aesthetic has contributed to the label’s longevity, now celebrating their 5 year anniversary. For the occasion, the label has welcomed back old friends (Modbox and Pressure Point) as well as inviting two new (Mannheim duo Sedee and Croatian Mariano Mateljan), for a four-track V/A amply titled ‘Five Years of Love’.
Our premiere, Pressure Point’s A1: Riff Interlude, opens the record in somewhat cinematic fashion. The Italian producer, affiliated with Sol Asylum, his own Telharmonic Texture and the D:fferent Place alias, has become known for his signature vibrancy and unique, retro-futuristic sound design. Riff Interlude is the perfect encapsulation of Pressure Point’s sonic tendencies. A vivid synth ushers in a sturdy old-school kick-clap combo while precise hats and a filtered snare make a brief appearance before its catchy bassline is given center stage. As the synth continues to modulate, folding in on itself and then out again, the track tugs at heartstrings, its emotive potential surmounted by the addition of nostalgic melody and whomping drum programming at its halfway point. It’s an eventful cut with propulsive rhythm; deployed at the right moment, Riff Interlude is a knock-you-over the head dancefloor bomb.
The atmosphere’s of the rest of the EP are markedly varied. On the A2, sits Mariano Mateljan’s squelchy slow burner, Spacecake, embellished with oddball samples that give it an endearing disorientation. On the B side, Modbox’s Wonderbag is marked by a sunnier disposition, exploring classical house sensibilities with delicate accents that ascend into euphoric melodies, fit to lift the spirits of dancefloors at the back end of an extended session. Wrapping up the EP is Sedee with ‘The Missing’ a darker journey reminiscent of a vintage video game with the kind of wormhole weirdness Castanea seems to have distinguished itself by.
Releasing on Tuesday, June 30th you can pre-order your copy at Deejay.de.