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Mike Simonetti is a dear buddy of ours here at Discobelle and we’ve been following him since our hardcore/punk days when he had the label Troubleman Unlimited.

The dark discoish track “Illusions is taken from “Solipsism”, his archival release of music spanning from 2006-2013.

“”Solipsism” is an archival release of music from Mike Simonetti’s tenure as owner of Italians Do It Better Records, spanning from 2006-2013. During that time Mike wrote a lot of music. Some of it was used for films, some for TV commercials, some for fashion shows and he even released a record or two.

Influenced by the intersection of 80’s arena rock bands like AC/DC and Judas Priest, glam rock/dance bands like Rockets and Supermax, and especially the underground Italian producer Piero Umiliani – the album is chock-full of atmospheric rock-inspired arpeggiated riffs. The mixture of metal and chugging dance music makes for a unique listening experience. Every song has a riff, every song is heavy and dense. Only one song goes above 118 BPM. These are heavy chuggers that make for a tense emotional experience that exceeds your standard, easy-to-write-off “soundtrack” fare, mainly because it was never written with that in mind. It was meant to be a fist-pumping arena rock inspired thumper! You can hear that in the one two punch of “A Prayer For War” into “Illusions”, which is an outtake from his “The Magician” sessions. Other songs like “Solipsism” showcase the airy melodies of that were to come with his other project Pale Blue, but that is not typical on this album. If you listen closely, you can hear how Simonetti’s music and dark vibes inspired his then label partner Johnny Jewel to take his own bands Chromatics and Glass Candy in a different, more cinematic direction.

This was written and recorded years before the Drive soundtrack and all the hoopla around the sudden soundtrack resurgence. In 2011 Mike was asked to submit some songs for a soon to be released Hollywood remake. He submitted most of the songs from this album, and they were slated for release on the soundtrack, but the project fell apart, and the film went in a different direction and changed producers. Soon after, because of all the drama and foolishness, he left Italians Do It Better to start over with 2MR and Pale Blue. This is the nail in the coffin. Godspeed.”

Skullkid has found a way to match clear Kaytranada-esque influences with a subtle, perhaps accidental nod to the two-step swagger of UK garage. ‘Even a demon cries’ ebbs and flows seamlessly with outright charisma and class, taking steps back into deeper melodic side lanes before bursting back into his well-oiled beat work.

Newfound Dutch imprint The Long Echo have hit the ground running with a poignant pledge to fuel the world of electronic chill with top-shelf material. Based on the label’s debut single, an intricate little number from mysterious newcomer Cruel Clouds, this is not a brand to sleep on if you’re looking for an ambient aural escape.

Pale Blue is a critically acclaimed techno duo that consists of the legendary New Jersey-based Mike Simonetti (an old friend of us at here at Discobelle, of Troubleman and Italians Do It Better fame) and Liz Wight. Pale Blue is a response to modern dance music and its constant fluctuations.

Back in 2015, they released their debut album entitled “The Past We Leave Behind”, a sublime album released via 2MR Records that incorporates rhythmic techno, atmospheric ambient productions, noise, drone, dream pop and lush vocals.

We at Discobelle are super excited to premiere the video for the title track.

“When the Pale Blue album came out, the idea was to make a video for this song and to release it as a single (the way normal people release music)- since it’s our most “pop” song. I contacted my friend and “art guy” Branko Vranic and asked him if he could make a video that involves old photos of my family, up until I reached high school because high school is when life changes. I wanted to photos to be rapid fire because that’s how fast time goes by. But after the video was finished I decided to shelve it. I didn’t think it was something people would be interested in seeing, and maybe it was too cheesy and nostalgic for techno/house/etc… This month is the three year anniversary of the video’s completion. A lot of crazy stuff has happened in those three years. As the world we once knew appears to be inching away from us, something as simple as family and nostalgia seems more relevant than ever.”

Discobelle exclusive premiere of the new single “Coffee” from Texas born but now residing in Los Angeles electronic producer Tocaio (AKA Carlos Ramirez).

Tocaio released his debut EP back in early 2017 and has steadily been expanding with streams on Spotify where he’s currently sitting at about 200 000 monthly streams and rising, his upcoming album “Auragraph” will be released later this year and “Coffee” is the first taste of that album. You’ll be able to pre-order the new album on Feb 9th. When you pre-order “Auragraph” from Bandcamp, you’ll receive an instant download to “Coffee” and the rest of the album when it releases in April.

The track itself is a beautifully arranged ambient and soothing affair with an organic soundscape of swooping synths and delicate beats.

Swedish/Berlin-based duo The Ghost Of Helags drop their first single of 2018, the absolutely beautiful and dreamlike pop/trance track “Anthem (we came from the stars)” was released last week. The track is an ode to the German urban sanctuary that is Berlin where a lot of artists, dropouts and ghosts came to search for their Northern star.