Review

Rhythm Of Paradise

In My Face

Smallville • 2023

Starting with his choice of pseudonym and ending with the last weightless floating pad, Michele Lamacchia seems to be inspired by Italian dream house through and through, but always expands this frame of reference with further reaches into music history’s treasure troves: funk, soul and disco of Italian as well as US provenance are also into his sound. The Apulian producer releases music under several names and as Rhythm Of Paradise has already made guest appearances at international bastions of Very Good House Music such as Chiwax, Kalahari Oyster Cult or Skylax. »In My Face« is his second EP for the Hamburg institution Smallville. The record’s opener and title track relies on wordless yet wistful soul vocals, a buttery bassline and … a triangle? It’s a beautiful uplifting tune, arriving just in time for the open-air season. »Love Me Tonite« is less glossily produced and with its raw sound design recalls early representatives of the lo-fi house sound like Palms Trax or Route 8, also because it masterfully unites its underlying groove with a hefty dose of melancholy. On the flip, the Nu-Cleo remix of »Deepside« turns out to be a double feint: on the one hand, this is just one of Lamacchia’s many pseudonyms, and on the other, the original version has apparently never been released. Either way, the producer takes the opportunity to get a little rougher, paving the way (or dancefloor, if you will) for »Solaris,« which begins with dreamy harmonies and lets the kick drum only hesitantly board the picture, but in the end lets the 303 loose. It is a strangely cosmic-balearic take on what might be called acid dream house, though ultimately somewhat indecisive. It’s a mild disappointment at the end of an otherwise very strong EP.