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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.”

“Let’s Kiss” was written the same week as “Under Your Spell” in November 2008. After a bizarre & beautiful twist of fate, I walked into a remote bar in Montreal where I met the love of my life. The next morning… Ida & I had to leave. We flew to France for a handful of sweaty club shows. On the train out of Paris, I realized my whole world had been permanently turned upside down. The rain was crashing against the windows… & I decided I wanted to make a record that felt like that moment frozen in time”

Another fine moment of gloomy, modern disco from producer Johnny Jewel. “Let’s Kiss is taken from the Italians Do It Better released compilation “After Dark 2”.

New Jersey producer/dj and mastermind behind Troubleman + Italians Do It Better Mike Simonetti with a free EP of African funk, soul, disco edits for your Christmas Day.

“Happy holidays. Enjoy this free edit EP of raw African sounds. No added production – all raw in its lo-fi glory”