- For a certain type of house DJ, Paolo Iocca's debut 12-inch might be the perfect package. Xing / Baseheadz, released on the Italian producer's RA-1 label, is inspired by classic Chicago sounds, featuring two remixes by another Windy City connoisseur, Nick Anthony Simoncino. One of the record's better moments, though, is when Iocca takes the road less travelled. After "Xing"'s reversed acid bassline fades out, a blocky, 8-bit arp pushes high into the mix until it begins to distort. The smooth 303 pulse of "Baseheadz" is also good, but the A-side generally sounds caught between two approaches. Iocca sounds undecided on whether to reproduce the Chicago house style or refurbish it.
Simoncino often does both, which makes for ear-catching music. His warehouse-shaking techno remix of "Xing" tweaks Iocca's acid squiggle into a deep purr, freeing the space around it for a balanced medley of hi-hats and rides. The "Afrikan Morning Remix" pairs soft synth flares with Larry Heard-style hand drums. In capturing the essence of his influences, Simoncino reveals both his familiarity with the source material and some tricks to freshen it up. Iocca's music might not have the same vision, but as a label owner, he at least shows curatorial nous.
B1 Xing (Simoncino Techno Dream Remix)
B2 Xing (Simoncino Afrikan Morning Remix)