- Massimiliano Pagliara merges classic house and Italo on tracks as crisp and pristine as the synthesisers in his Berlin studio. But more than his assiduous production, an instinct for melody and harmony makes his music exceptional. On one of Pagliara's best EPs, Magic Serials, squeaky clean synth lines were wound in colourful patterns. Whenever Pagliara uses a vocalist—as on, for example, 2015's "Don't Give Up On Love"—his tracks recall '80s drum machine R&B or synth pop. Pagliara's music dazzles when it draws from these sources. But on Time And Again, his chirpy melodies and basslines seem misplaced in the moodier setting the EP explores.
A garish sound emerges on tracks that temper Pagliara's vibrant palette. The synth melody on "To A Faraway Place," for instance, seems intended to enhance the track's climax. But the descending notes, laid over a loopy base whose drama emerges from repetition, exaggerates a feeling that is already implied. At the start of "If I Try To Forget I Miss You More," the bassline hums with the good cheer of a friendly neighbour, but the gated arps and the synth melodies, which sound like they belong to a different track, don't suit it. The EP improves once it steers away from awkward hybrids. In the modular gurgle of "A Passing Day," Pagliara finds his footing with techno, but in doing so sheds his personality. "Time And Again" is the only track in Pagliara's established mould. Italo synths, queasy keyboard tones and moody mid-range stabs summon the melodramatic overtures of his previous work. On the rest of Time And Again, Pagliara simply doesn't sound like himself.
A1 If I Try To Forget I Will Miss You Even More
A2 Time And Again
B1 To A Faraway Place
B2 A Passing Day