High 5 - Marvin & Guy

by Jelena Drenjakovic

Swerving between house, disco and new wave techno, the Italian duo Marvin & Guy has been DJing and producing music together since 2011. After a run of go-to 12s disco edits on Mule Musiq subsidiary Let’s Get Lost, Alessandro Parlatore and Marcello Giordani’s music slowly evolved into full-on productions released via ‘On the Prowl, Young Adults,  Hivern Discs, Permanent Vacation, their own eponymous label, Life and Death and many more.

Drawing from homegrown disco sound influenced by cult DJs such as Larry Levan, Ron Hardy, and Tee Scott the duo’s shared knowledge of how to make people dance has come in handy for both cherry-picking and distributing obscure Italian Techno tunes from early 90s via Life Of Marvin – a label they co-run with Manfredi Romano aka DJ Tennis. More recently the Italian twosome have launched Equation, a series of releases that focuses on "very special edits" by "very special artists”, according to their own words, available exclusively on vinyl. With this in mind we are excited to share 5 snappy disco-tinged delights picked by the self-labelled Cowboys from Paradise to whet your wax appetites.


A typical Italo-Disco classic from 1984 written and produced by Robert Phillip Orlando, better known as Bobby O., whose pioneering take on dance music shaped the evocatively named Hi-NRG sound that bleeded the 70s dance beats into the synth we associate with the 80s. This mix version comes with an energetic, staccato sequenced synthesizer that sets the tone for something that explores the more expressive corners of the dance floor. When those vocals kick in, you might find yourself strutting across a neon-tinted dance floor keeping the beat between the turns with some bouncy step kicks or rock-steps for the measure.



Following Space’s Magic Fly footsteps, ‘Tout Petit La Planet’ is yet another classic of end-seventies spacey-discopop crossed by surging guitar chords and kosmische synths reminiscent of cinematic retro space travel. This disco odyssey unravels with a dramaesque progression along a decent rhythm lightened by a steady ripple of fine-tipped hi-hats. Vocoded francophone vocals propel things ever-forward until the epic guitar solo kicks the song into high gear at around the midway point.



Dig Your Own Rave (D.Y.O.R.) is an electronic psycho-pop-rock band based in Madrid composed of three musicians and DJs, Rock Serling, Christian C. and Rotten City Records label owner, Alvaro Cabana.  The original version of ‘A Ground In The Hole’, which comes off the second V/A compilation ‘Rotten Cititzens’, is given two remix treatments by French producer and DJ Damon Jee.  Starting with sizzling hi-hats and hazy pads, that accentuate the original version's beautiful spacey-ness, the instrumental remix keeps growing with worming details and fuzzy synth riffs that turn the track into a prime-time club-ready chugger. 



Italian legend Michele Zamboni aka DJ Miki, also known as The Dolphin, a moniker that he mainly uses for his productions, looks back on a long history as a DJ and producer. Miki has been riding and forming the Italian electronic music scene since the 80s, mixing different genres from Afro to Funky to New Wave, House and Acid to Techno, while steadily crafting a music outfit that refuses to be pigeonholed. The colorful smorgasbord of influences can also be found in his productions: Apple rides along a bouncy, psytrancey shuffle with an acid infused lead unravelling at warp-speed, accompanied by meandering steel drums. Soon, we get some flirting going on with a funky piano groove topped off with snare and cymbal rattles clattering through the track. Miki methodically, like a bricklayer, builds an impeccable energy — there's a chunky vocal chop here, a quirky warped bird-like twittering there, maybe a bowed metal sample. To give you the short of it: Cutting-edge techno for dystopian raves. 



Former Drop The Lime man Luca Venezia, aka Curses, debuts on Amsterdam’s Bordello a Parigi with his 4-track ‘Pedal To The Metal And Don’t Look Back’ EP. The EP’s title track begins rather discoid with a chunky kick drum and a swinging hat and clap combo. Luca Venezia goes quickly into work and batters the track into a new shape with a jittery staccato chord loop that gives the track a forward momentum. The energy levels are kicked up a notch when rumbling synth rifts join the pinprick sharp shards of industrial strikes. We don't get a vocal chop until three minutes in, so when it finally appears— first as isolated strands of melancholic breath that later turn into a diva wail—it snaps the groove right into place. The forward momentum stays steady for the rest of the track, rolling underneath splendid hi-hat variations that slice through the stomping synth work. The track’s end section is a breather, first losing the bass, then the hi-hats while the synths are given a short acidic treatment before they settle to near silence.