50 is a pretty impressive milestone. In the real world it generally marks the beginning of a mid-life crisis period and can involve flashy Italian cars and attractive young girls with no surnames.
So when Marc Romboy's Systematic hit 50, how appropriate to mark the occasion with a suitably attractive picture disc and some flashy Italian producers, one of which has no surname.
Hugo's been on the circuit for a while, most notably attracting attention with The Sloop and The Siren out on Tuning Spork earlier in the year, whilst Daniele Papini is in pole position for the track of the summer 2008 with his unforgettable Church Of Nonsense track on Alchemy.
This celebratory Systematic disc is unfortunately nowhere near as instantaneously catchy as the either of those mentioned. In fact it's fairly underwhelming. 'Nice To Meet You EP' includes in its title the blandest word in the English language, and I hate to say that the title kinda fits.
'Physical' takes a while to slip into it's groove but once it does it just stays there for the entire duration. An enormous sub-bass element makes it essential to play loud on a big system to feel the full impact of what is otherwise a very basic piece, despite the limited interjections of voice and air horn.
'Arduer' has much more going on with a frenetic rollicking pace and some wonderfully mysterious and twisted verbal bits and pieces busying around. In fact those quirky experimental sounds are what rescues this whole package from blandness; there's so much of this sound out there that differentiating between it is hard enough without some memorable elements.
'Softuer' is the jaunty little cousin of the previous two, but still doesn't really deliver anything that we haven't heard before from the likes of Simon Baker or Dan Berkson. It's not that there's anything wrong with any of these 3, on the contrary its a respectable package from a very credible label, and following up a notable release, as both of these producers are doing, is tricky. But that doesn't mean it's wrong to expect a bit more than 'nice'.
|Artist: Hugo and Daniele Papini
Title: 'Nice To Meet You' EP
Label: Systematic Recordings