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We’ll just let Mike do the talking…

“About a year ago i remixed the band Nocturnal Habits, from Washington. Its my friend Justin Trosper’s band. You may not know Nocturnal Habits, but you probably know his other band, Unwound. I released a few Unwound records back in the early 90s on my old label Troubleman. As a matter of fact the Unwound 7″ was Troubleman’s first ever release back in 1993 – not a bad way to start a label, if you ask me. Anyway, about 2 years ago we got together when he was in NYC, went to see Brooks at Superiority Burger , ate a ton of food, and caught up on almost 15 years worth of life. We spoke about his new band, and i offered to remix it before even hearing it. (Justin was always ahead of the game. His other band from the 1990s, Replikants, sounds current almost 20 years later.) We both had no idea what to do with the song when it was finished. Maybe release it on a tape? I didnt care – I just wanted to do it. I wouldnt be where i am if it werent for Unwound. They were a huge inspiration, and a springboard for my “career” in “music”… I chose this song because it reminded me of where Unwound left off, right around Leaves Turn Inside You. I made this remix almost a year ago to the day. Ive been told this is the darkest/most melancholy song ive ever written (and that is saying a lot)… If anything, it is “My 9-11 song”, even though it was written 17 years later. At the end of the remix, I faded out all of my parts, and just let Justin’s strings go alone. You can hear echoes of “Leaves” in there… Even today, hearing this remix takes me back to Sept 2001.

On Sept 13, 2001 Unwound played Maxwells in Hoboken, NJ. Two days earlier, the World Trade Center was attacked right across the river from Maxwells. I watched the second tower fall from the same waterfront just two days earlier. I remember Justin calling me from Boston the next day and saying “we decided to continue the tour”. After soundcheck, me, Vern and i think David (?) walked to the water to watch the recovery efforts from across the Hudson River. We drank beers that we smuggled out of Maxwells, and sat there, and didnt talk much. The band wasnt getting along. Vern wanted to go home to his new baby daughter, and the fact that it was 2 days after 9/11 did not help. It was a fucked up time.

The Maxwells gig 17 years ago was one of the most memorable musical experiences of my life. The sold out show was half full. People were crying and hugging each other… Everything changed forever. We went to Maxwells out of denial and defiance- to try to hold on to something that was ours, because it seemed like everything was ripped from us. Its hard to put those emotions into words. The city was quiet, the air still smelled weird, people were shuffling around in a haze. But Unwound did what they do- they played a show. It would be the last time I would see Unwound live, or the three of them together.”Mike Simonetti

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.”

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.”

Italian disco producer/dj Bottin is gearing up for the release of his upcoming album “I Have What I Gave” due to be released on October 6th via 2MR.

As a prelude to the album release, we here at Discobelle can premiere the video for single track “Roulez Jeunesse” (the phrase originates from France and was used by the ride operator to evoke the rides and bumper cars in fairs. The expression is now commonly used to mean that you’re all set to go). The video uses archive footage from a fairground to give us an insight into Italian dance culture in the 90’s.

Deep and otherworldly house from Stockholm courtesy of duo Saine & Smith, their debut release “Laughing Kids” will be released soon via Mike Simonetti headed imprint 2MR.

We here at Discobelle are very proud and glad to be able to premiere the A-side track “Lord Vanlig” which draws inspiration from Afro-Caribbean traditional folk music from the 60’s and the track features hypnotizing groove along with a bittersweet feeling of cheerfulness along with sorrow.

“This video is dedicated to survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

It is inspired by something that I experienced over a decade ago, and like all survivors; have never forgotten. For the record, it does not involve anyone I currently know. I have been surrounded by people who love and care for me for several years, but that was not always the case. I know it is all too common for girls and women to experience violence and rape at some point in their lives.

Just a few months ago I had a moment that I felt so low thinking about this, that I didn’t feel like I could continue another day. I called a rape crisis hotline and talked for over an hour about how I couldn’t forget and how I was angry I never said anything. It is astonishing to realize someone you love and trust can do this to you and make you feel like you are human garbage. The aftermath does not last just for that moment – the feelings can last a lifetime.

I had to make something about this, to express the difficulty I had in speaking out. I contacted my friend Elizabeth Wight about doing this story to her and Mike’s music from Pale Blue and she was excited about the idea.

Art is a great way to confront memories and break the isolation. If you are a survivor, it is important to remember you have nothing to be ashamed about and find those to support you. Speak out. I thank you for watching and thank my friends for working on this and coming out to help and donating their talents. I love you.”