Italian artist Gerardo is no stranger to these pages and it wasn’t too long ago that his intricate work cropped up on Howl Records. That’s not the only label that he has graced as Gerardo has also been a pivotal member of the output at Spanish labels Morchelle Music, its sublabel Vidre and Italian imprint Vara Records.
Gerardo’s knack for complex rhythms, abstract sound palettes, and obscure FX that pushes his sounds in an experimental yet dancefloor-focused direction. It was only a matter of time before he set out his own stall and with his 2 x 12” EP GERARDO001 he has done just that.
We will be starting out our look at this release with ‘Said Ciao’. Situated on B1 this detuned bad boy flutters and flirts with a stuttering groove and sparse bassline. As the track progresses more elements float to the surface of the track and even amongst the complex trade-offs happening the expert production of Gerardo allows for each shine through. Scarce vocal chops pepper the track but not enough to call it a vocal per se.
B2 offers a crunchier outlook with ‘Deep Water Stay Under’ and singing synths cast our minds deep into the abyss with the aid of an off-kilter breakbeat. Flipping over and C1 ‘Do Not Church’ offers one of the more peak time moments on the record. C2 ‘Early Lights’ is also a fairly breakneck affair with a snapping snare cutting the mix in half.
The other side to disc 2 belongs to Franko and he ramps the bpm’s up even further on ‘Speed Issues’ which is a fairly frenetic jaunt while the last track on side D ‘Gabbiano’ brings things back down to earth with a satisfying thump. All that remains is to circle back to side A and ‘Where’s My Light’ kicks off the release with a weird breakbeat vocal workout that combines synth zaps and detuned waning synths. Finally, ‘Slowly But Surely’ covers our look at Gerardo’s first foray on his own label and he combines leftfield vocal samples with broken beats that have a serious swing in their step.
GERARDO001 is now available at viniil.