Fabio Montana - Ortygia
2016 has been an incredible year for music, and up there with the best, continually pushing the envelope is microCastle, the highly respected Canadian electronic imprint. Since kick-starting the year with the impressive ‘It Happened One Night EP’ courtesy of Chicola & Sahar Z, the label has released a breath-taking array of music from Brian Cid, Eagles & Butterflies, Mike Griego, BOg, Hermanez, Navar & Mononoid, YokoO, MUUI, Cornucopia, and most recently, Third Son and Darlyn Vlys.
Now, for the label’s final release of 2016, microCastle welcomes Fabio Vanore-Landsberg aka Fabio Montana to showcase his creative talents. The Italian-born, Germany-based artist is highly regarded for his distinctive style and musical depth. Releases on Einmusika, Click Records and his own Incroyable imprint have been praised by his contemporaries, with Maceo Plex, Joris Voorn and Hot Since 82 all play-listing his music.
With ‘Ortygia’ (referencing a small island which is the historical centre of the city of Syracuse, Sicily), Fabio begins with a neat percussive intro, layering piano chords and multifarious melodic flourishes over a decidedly rotund bouncing bassline, to enthralling effect. This delicious track casts it spell with ease and magically conjures up a swirling dervish of enigmatic energy.
microCastle’s masterstroke has been to engage Love Over Entropy to repattern ‘Ortygia’. Motivated by the ideology of early Detroit pioneers and experimental IDM, LOE’s musical creations are renowned for being hypnotic and atmospheric, with a tender touch, and an obsessive attention to detail. As a result the Dutch artist has found a home on tastemaker labels such as Something Happening Somewhere, Lossless and Atomnation. Here, he builds a deeply brooding, melodic, percussive masterpiece, and the resultant tension is palpable as his re-imagining of ‘Ortygia’ sparks with eruptive bursts of fizzing energy. A stunning remix on every level, and it is no wonder that he is beloved by such heavyweights as Dixon, Mano Le Tough, Âme and Laurent Garnier.
‘Akragas’ sees Fabio Montana experiment with a more discordant musical palette, utilising stabbing synths to conjure up multifarious menacing images in the deep darkness, layered over a sparse yet rock solid rhythmic spine, infused with a subtle, head-nodding swing. Which leaves the door open for My Favourite Robot (Last Night On Earth, Life & Death) to build a suitably euphoric finale to this excellent package with their remix, layering percussion, synths and FX to create a highly distinctive future-retro vibe. Jared Simms, Voytek Korab, and James Teej are My Favorite Robot and their vision to ignore the norm and broaden the definition of electronic music is firmly on display here. It is perhaps fitting that this trio of Canadian artists, who in a space of a few short years have become a central part of the global electronic music scene, complete the circle here.
microCastle, inspired by art and nature, has been consistently showcasing the best in melodic house, techno and electronica, since the imprint’s inception in 2009, steadily building a stunning catalogue of releases from many of the world’s finest artists. The prime focus is always on quality, cutting edge electronic music, whilst always staying true to the label’s underground roots. The anticipation for an exceptional 2017 begins now.