DescriptionSlovenian techno protagonist Valentino Kanzyani shares his underground house vision on his debut release for Cadenza, titled Love & Gratitude EP1. The techno turntablist, who made his name spinning on three decks in Slovenia in the mid-1990s, has always been known as a sound experimentalist. From techno releases on labels like Tronic and Intec, to deep funky tech house collaborations with the likes of Masomenos, and progressive hits like Flying on Yoshitoshi, Kanzyani is a true beat scientist (and a celebrated one too).
As this EP shows, Kanzyani is an astute creator of grooves that have deep percussive roots and an unconventional raw energy. All four tracks on Love & Gratitude have a free spirit - there are no set drum patterns or genres to lock on to. The dance music just flows, magnetically, towards an unknown space of Kanzyani's design.
For instance, the EP's first track on which he collaborated with Ian F., Old School Romance, is a wriggly, dubby tech house track. It slowly worms its way into your heart and feet with warm Detroit pads, and a fidgety bass groove. It hints at a possible future explosion of light and energy, but it never quite gets that far. Instead it ducks and dives, hiding in the shadows, choosing to build tension elegantly.
El Circulo De La Vida is a magical trip of live electronics. With a percussion section built from an odd assortment of bells, live hand drums, and strange clanging instruments, the rhythm is animated and imperfect. The bass beneath is equally disjointed and unsystematic: sometimes it rolls sexily, at other times it just murmurs. The track is led by a melancholic church-like organ, which wanders aimlessly and eerily. To compliment it, Kanzyani includes some spoken male Shamanic Spanish vocals which, if heard on a large soundsystem, would sound like the dancefloor was eavesdropping on an important spiritual conversation.
Woodoo Samba (digital bonus) is more beat centric. Relying upon a few simple drum elements, Kanzyani squeezes out an infectious druggy warehouse loop by constantly re-arranging its core patterns. It is almost impossible to guess what's coming next because the track is forever on the move.
The final offering on the EP, Holi Revolver (digital bonus), is perhaps the most unorthodox track in the collection. With a rough broken beat, the track is pure techno even though it avoids a four four beat throughout. Loopy and hypnotic, it's an abstract slice of warped dance music that is impossible to remain stationary to.
From this EP it comes as no surprise to learn that Kanzyani has recently been playing, and sharing music and ideas with Romania's new breed of house DJs/producers. The Slovenian says he is especially connected with young Romanian artists like Praslea, Afumati, Herodot, and Cezar Lazar, and you can hear that in his confident, bold approach to new rhythms and beat construction.