Thanks for the review, Luc! Happy you like it...
IDP Compilation vol. 2
IDP Compilation vol. 2
As most probably know the second installment of IDP's very own compilation is out in the shops. The compilation follows volume 1 and includes 14 never before released tracks in mixed italodance and lento style. Luckily, I got the privilege to review the entire compilation.
First track of the compilation is Alexandra Shine - Play That Game (Bietto Remix). Vocals chords are "ok" in my opinion and the lyrics could be better. The vocal ad-libs 'tutututu' is quite catchy and main melody arrives in the traditional italo-build up which works well. The melody hits the same notes as the vocal, which sometimes is an easy way out of originality, but here since we had that "tututu" phrase, it would not have worked doing a different melody. Bietto used a bass that reminds of Molinaro’s, which I think was not the best idea. Molinaro always to me sounded quite raw, with aggressive sounds, I am not sure this bass fits a track with a soft-tone like this one. Overall the track sounds good, quality of the vocal is well, despite unoriginal lyrics. 3/6
Okay we are on the lento style with L.E.S. Project Fragment - I'll Never Be Alone (Extended Mix). L.E.S. is well known for quality productions and this is not an exception. It actually quite a joyful song, the whistling helps a lot and the work on the chords is cool. I liked the vocoder that popped in there. The rap sometimes feels a bit weak because of the high-pass filter on it, mid song, it's just kick+bass+vocals, I was a bit bored because it felt kind of "empty" to me. Overall a little more details would have helped the sound. 4/6
Daniele Meo is a great singer, able to hit some high notes, which allows him to create some cool harmonies on his vocals. This track Evoluzione remixed by FranJ and Claster DJ stood out from the rest of the tracks in this compilation already early in the track. The intro is great with the piano coming in and super-cheesy bird whistling. Then it goes straight into the beat and I literally fell-back in love with italo. The vocal is great, no terrible lyrics great quality of production and most of all an Italian male vocal. Instruments used were cool, and original, lot of stuff happening at the same time, this is good. The main melody could have been better I think. Nevertheless, the breaks are all working great, I did not feel bored at any moment in the track and all transitions are really well put together. 6/6
DJ Doddo vs. Glaukor - Summer Love (90's Remix). This time straight back to late 90s/early 00s Starting straight into a vocoded vocal it then jumps into a 90s fashion beat where we get to hear the lead melody. The vocal enters, with cheesy lyrics but it is okay because it was the essence of early dance music. Vocal's melody is good; the singer took some risk reaching high notes. Just before the lead melody kicks back in we get a small vocoded vocal, which is that detail that helps making it a typical 90s track. Right after we get a break.. tiny empty, it's alright, the kick and bass goes back in and get you moving. Production sounds good, so far, the production of the track is generally great, it's a surprise. The lack of quality is why I stopped listening to it like crazy few years ago. The grade is a bit low because I think they could have been a bit more original. 4/6
With HGN - Last Night (Original Edit) we are straight in a mix of vocoded vocals a unfiltered ones. It is vocoded in the Eiffel 65 way, who was my first love so the track got me in a great mood straight away. Main melody is working great and beautifully introduced although lyrics are a bit cheesy. The kick/bass is really pumping which gives it some kind of raw-feeling in a positive way. Vocals goes back in with your regular italo breaks. During the vocals, a piano is playing, a detail, which pushes the vocals a bit further and raises the level. Vocals did not just simply follow the main melody which is a fact I value. Overall quality is superb and the beat is stomping, but the vocals could be cleaner. 4/6
L.E.S. Project Fragment - Emergency (Extended) is another lento track. With a very electro-feeling bass starting right away and a clear synth jumping around. The track sounds very electro, actually once pushed at 128 BPM it could make a good EDM track. The beat is fat; you can really feel the kick there. Later in the track, we get into a break with police sirens moving around, it is cool that LES added this identity to the track. Unfortunately, it is very repetitive and gets a bit monotone. The track sounds good but L.E.S. could have spiced it up a bit more. 3/6
FINALLY! I remember listening Disc Jockeyz - Hate (Old School Edit) a very long time ago. I have always been a Disc Jockeyz fan; they deliver quality stuff, cheers to Brian Sanders who keeps on making quality tracks. The track got its originality it does not have your regular big synth melody but instead a subtle guitar playing. Vocals are great, but a bit too auto-tuned. The whole track is minimal on the drum parts, but I think it works well that way. Vocals are super catchy, just as their previous single. I wish they could release some of their unreleased italo tracks! 5/6 big fan here.
DJ Fole - A Long Voyage (Extended Mix) starts with a long line of hollow sounding synth and a punchy beat. Once the beat starts, it is using pretty much the same melody in a loop, with few variations that makes it sound a bit monotone. The harmonies we hear mid songs are cool, but are not really standing out while the drums are not very clear and sounds a bit too low volume wise while the bass tend to be too loud. I think DJ Fole tried to do an ambient italo track that unfortunately personally did not convince me. 3/6
DJ Cillo is not unknown to the scene and it is cool to see that he kept on working on his sounds over the years. He is fortunate enough to live in a city in Italy where an actualy Italo party takes place every week with DJ Cerla in control. I would describe the track Check This (Extended Mix) as a mix of hands up and italo. The bass is italo but the melody/synth sound is German hands-up oriented. At some point in the track, you get to hear a vocal gimmick saying "check this' that is cut around to follow the beat, and honestly it could sound better. Later on there's a trancy break where dreamy chords and harps are playing, just before the melody comes back kicking in. We even get a jumpstyle moment, which really confirms that this is a hands-up oriented production. The overall production sounds nice though! 4/6
Disc Jockeyz - Hate (DJ Power Remix). I have never been a great fan of DJ Power to be honest; his sound is too harsh for me. The beat is definitely pumping from the beginning, with a raw bass and a vocal with a phaser effect on it, I am not sure that was such a good idea, but the main problem that, hit me early in the track, is the vocal being too distorted which does not go well with the kick/bass behind. Then it dives into a break with violin slowly introducing the melody to come, synth lead is coming out slowly to hit for good. DJ Power took the same melody as the vocal chorus, but it works well, definitely a powerful hook on the chorus. I think the track could be nice but the vocals are too distorted sounding. To me it sounds like he dropped the vocal on it and did not try to mix it right. 4/6
HGN & McW - ItaloLand (Original Edit). So I guess everyone knows McW or McWaust around here, the N°1 Italofreak! He is back on vocal duties with Italoland together with HGN (Hoxygen).
The track starts with McW's vocal being vocoded over a bell-piano-ish sound and some strings while some fingers/claps are snapping to the beat. Then it jumps quite fast into the main melody. It was a bit of a disappointment, as the synth sounds quite weak and crushed by the kick/bass. It's a shame really! Then we are back on vocal with a catchy "nananaa' HGN did some great harmonies on McW's vocals. We get to a break with a new line of lyrics, this is cool, always appreciate more lyrics than just repeating the same stuff all over. The overall sound is well and apart from the weak synth, it is a great track, 5/6
Being a Disc Jockeyz fan I was very excited to hear more stuff from them. Sadly the main weak point of Disc Jockeyz - Ass Like Yours (Umchi Umchi Mix) are the terrible lyrics. This is actually a disappointment because the vocal sound good, actually better than in Hate. Apart from the "lalalaaa" gimmick, it is not something that hooked me up. Despite doubtful lyrics, this is actually a very well put together italo track that has all the right elements of classic italodance hits and yet has a disco kind of feeling in the lead synth, typical Brian sound. The beat is quite bouncy, and everything sounds crystal clear. Melody is working well, catchy enough and mixing with some incredibly well placed piano notes. It also has that typical Gabry Ponte break. Apart from the lyrics, this is a great track, 5/6.
In Dance Rocker & McW - Pumping Up My Heart (With Love) (Original Extended) we are back with McW vocals, this sounds straight heavy with a lot of elements playing and an almost hands-up like intro. It jumps into a mix of piano, big strings and guitar while McW is singing. Now I am a bit bothered, as sometimes the vocals can sound off key and a bit too low with all these sounds playing at the same time. The melody is introduced by a short moment of relief where only a harp and a sharp synth are playing. Then we cut to the lead melody. Melody is working but it could be catchier, harmonies are coming up later on, are once again a bit too loud, and does not sound properly mixed. Not that big problem but it could sound better. I think the track could be great but there is too much going on and the work on the mixing could have used a bit more work because it just sounds a bit too overwhelming. 4/6
Mike Feast - Concierto De Aranjuez. Quite an original intro in this track being slow and instrumental. All the elements are mixing great and it has a very Spanish mood to it. Colombian producer Mike Feast takes the melody from a classical guitar composition by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. After the long intro, it cuts straight to the kick bass. Now not your regular bass - it sounds growling and filtered, and it works well! The Spanish guitar keeps on playing while the lead melody goes on. Later on strings harmonies kicks in. The chorus part then cuts off to another very instrumental break, loved it. The bass is slowly coming back, without killing the instruments playing over, great job. When the beat is back, a new melody is kicking in and that is where I realized that it was intended to be a Gigi D'Agostino inspired track. We get a second break with a retro-feeling synth playing before the kick/bass jumps in again. I think this part was unnecessary the track would have been fine without it. It stays for a while then we are back on the previous melody, which is cool, you can clearly hear every instrument playing and even the synth is playing, it is not killing the other tracks playing. Cool track well put together with only a few glitches. 5/6
IDP Compilation vol.2 did its job pretty well. They once again raised the quality standard to another level. In the last few years most italo tracks have been quite cheap, with disastrous vocals without any sense sometimes. Here most of the vocals are clear and the singer were hitting the right notes. What really stands out is the quality of the tracks. They might not have that catchy thing all of them, but I think the IDP team managed to offer something for every taste, from 90s dance, to Gabry Ponte/Gigi classic italo to lento and hands-up influenced tracks. If you want to get top of the line italo in 2014, this is the right compilation for you. Sadly, Italo is not in its most glorious hours anymore, but the compilation is a nice gem to have for those nostalgic of these moments. Judging the work put into it I would rate the compilation 6 out of 6 stars but also considering that not everything here is A-material we end up on 5 out of 6 stars. Huge recommendations!
IDP wishes to thank Luc Trombini for contributing with the review.
Type of media:Digital Release
Bought at:Juno Download