- Roman DJ/producer Giorgio Gigli has played a key role in Italy's techno scene for more than a decade, spreading his hypnotic, bassline-driven sound through a mix of solo releases and collaborations. Aside from his earlier records for trend-setting labels like Elettronica Romana and Prologue, he's probably best known for Zooloft, the imprint he ran alongside fellow Italian artist Obtane, AKA Francesco Baudazzi. Their label's dark, droney EPs earned them a cult following, and Gigli has continued to build off that production approach. His debut album, The Right Place Where Not To Be, for Electric Deluxe, further refines his methods, resulting in a cinematic progression of slow-burning techno.
Gigli usually favors low tempos, but he goes even lower here. Most of The Right Place Where Not To Be sticks to 90 or 100 BPM. Crafted as a soundtrack for an imagined film where all human and animal life has died off, the LP brings to mind Zooloft's evocative ambient B-sides. A dystopian blend of churning bass, reduced drum patterns, orchestral motifs and wraithlike reverb flows from the beginning, with epic, ten-minute prelude "Il futuro è solo un ricordo di uno stupendo passato (Everything Begins Here)." It fits the expansive style Gigli has used throughout his career, though it seems to be a purposeful challenge—like a moat, or, considering the artwork, a mountain range guarding the rest of the album.
"Surrounded" is a haunting, polyrhythmic highlight, its 3/4 bass riff weaving in and out of a syncopated kick and reverberating pops. "The Silence Was Infinite," which layers vibrant, swirling ambiance atop some barely-there mechanical funk, proves the album isn't all dark. But while tracks can stand alone, there are a few important elements and themes that transform across multiple tracks. "Eve Of Destruction" and "Nocturne" form a majestic two-part suite in the middle of the album, the former's panoramic chords trimmed down to an occasional flourish above the latter's gurgling low-end. The sensation of lightness in "The Silence Was Infinite" resurfaces in sparer forms on the more urgent and unsettling "Through Leaden Clouds," whose quiet rush carries into the staccato synths and wilted sirens of closer "Shades Of Depth."
Gigli's take on techno has been knocked by some as murky and indulgent, and it's true that his tracks don't often move out of the shadows. But an appreciation for nuance and a dramatic flair are hallmarks of his style, which The Right Place Where Not To Be's overcast rhythms display in full. The noir-tinged splendor makes for a trip that's hard to resist.
01. Il futuro è solo un ricordo di uno stupendo passato (Everything Begins Here)
02. Last Frame Of Myself
04. Eve of Destruction
06. The Silence Was Infinite
07. Through Leaden Clouds
08. Shades Of Depth