The 1980s are dead but they buried a time capsule in the grooves of this 12″ from Whiskey Pickle. DJ Rocca is one of Italy’s national treasures. His records, from high-profile collaborations with Dimitri From Paris to Bandcamp oddities and exclusives, make up a rare discography just waiting to be plundered by DJs in search of the perfect groove.
On tracks like “Detox” — the lead and best one on Tropicale 17 — Rocca brings an uncanny authenticity to the production. I listen to a lot of synthwave producers who are attempting to build on a nostalgia for 1980s electronic music, but the tools amalgamated by the modern DAW leave it too perfect, too pristine, without the LM-1 drum machine swing. “Detox” is perfectly imperfect, it could stand alone or even replace a track by Comsat Angels in the conflict montage of an ’80s feature film.
On the flipside is an out-of-body experience by Chicken Lips (aka Andy Meecham and Dean Meredith of Bizarre Inc fame) remixing the title track of Tropicale 17 into a 12 minute metaphysical Konpa Dirèk. And that’s something to behold too.
DJ Rocca: Tropicale 17 (Whiskey Pickle / 12″ Vinyl/Digital / December 2020)
1. DJ Rocca: Detox (04:04)
2. DJ Rocca: Tropicale 17 (04:47)
3. DJ Rocca: Tropicale 17 (Chicken Lips Malfunction) (12:13)
4. DJ Rocca: Green St (Bandcamp Digital Exclusive) (05:47)