It’s been bubbling under for a while now, but there’s a building feeling that the sound of 2018 will be italo. The lush, dreamy synths of the European take on disco has re-appeared every few years or so, previously generating the most momentum with the Scandinavians Lindstrom and Todd Terje in the last decade, the former’s ‘I feel Space’ still one of the greatest examples of how music can be shimmering, dark and euphoric all at the same time.
Two DJs who have been pushing modern takes on it in their sets are Krystal Klear and Gerd Janson, with the Irish selector making his debut on the German’s tastemaker imprint Running Back with a heady four tracker that raids various textures of the genre. ‘Moonshake Minor’ uses lush almost Balearic melodies, ‘Divison Avenue’ a more paired down slower take, with ‘Shockzoid’ cranking up the tempo to weld Rimini riffs to a pulsating oscillating bassline – the result a joyously hedonistic future trance vibe. All three tracks are brilliantly produced and guaranteed to improve your set, but merely the side attraction in the EP’s jewel, the resplendent ‘Neutron Dance’.
The centrepiece in Janson’s recent Boiler Room set from Sugarhouse in Melbourne, the track oozes sunshine for one of those giddily infectious tracks that could define the summer. It’s a bit silly, borderline cheesy, but so gloriously fun you can see it getting kids pogoing on dancefloors as diverse as Dekmantel and the Deaf Institute, rinsed on Radio One just as readily as Redlight FM. One of those records which makes you forget all your worries and grin and gurn in equal measure, it’s going to be impossible to avoid as the nights get shorter and festival season dominates. An early contender for track of the year.