It’s been a while since we didn’t have a release entirely produced by Luigi Tozzi, the last one being the electrifying “Wastelands” on Hypnus in 2019. So what happened in the meantime?
Having started our “news section” earlier this year, we’ve actually never had the opportunity to review one of his works, so let’s expand the introduction a bit, by drawing a quick overview of what kept him busy during these two years, as a way to gain a glimpse into “Almost Blue”‘s context.
From 2019 until today, no solo release, but the Italian artist has been nevertheless pretty active. He uploaded many mixes for various podcasts, including his resounding 2019 second “page” in The Memoir. He contributed to important charity compilations, such as “WorldWideWindow” for the Red Cross and “in_vurt” for the emblematic club of Seoul. He participated in creative VAs, thinking of “Canto de Los Dioses” in particular, conceptualised on the world’s vulnerable locations. He produced some remixes: we still have in mind his insane 2020 edit of Frankie Knuckles’ “Your Love“, a successful challenge two years after his version of Moby’s “Go“. Last but not least, he shared some EPs with other important figures of the scene, such as the memorable “Lyra” with Claudio PRC on his nascent label 012.
In short, during these two years, Luigi Tozzi has created a musical universe deeply oriented towards others. Such a direction seems to be intimately linked with the comeback of a certain musical self-confidence, that was particularly obvious in his 2015 massive EP “Wadjet“, and that makes his current tracks as charismatic as in those golden years, thinking for instance of his punchy version of “Meionia” by Michal Wolski, released some months ago. Today’s fresh assurance is also marked by the comeback of epic ambient pieces, which he hadn’t been producing since “Yavin 4” from his 2017 EP “Binary Sunset“. The vivid “A New Hope“, followed by the ultra-arpeggiated “Musa“, are testifying of a seemingly more assertive mind, and it’s within this subtle evolution that Luigi Tozzi is back on track with “Almost Blue”.
The young maestro is not a newcomer to Psyk’s label Non Series, having already contributed to a split EP along with Pris in 2020, as well as being the author of the fabulous “Tender Is The Night” in 2019. In both releases, he merges the sub-basslines of his first love, dub techno, with magnetic and intriguing bass sonorities, carrying vast soundscapes with subtle percussions. Unlike its name eventually suggests, “Almost Blue” sounds more like a sequel to “Tender Is The Night” than his 2014 EP “Deep Blue“, for re-using the efficient formula of his past Non Series EP. Therefore, it could be more of a reference to the night than to the sea, in phase with “Tender Is The Night” and potentially confirmed by both the smooth darkness of “Black-eyed” and the title of the intriguing “Narcoleptic”. There is however still this “liquid/organic” feel, present in “Deep Blue” and in a lot of Tozzi’s works, particularly obvious in the third track “Almost Blue”. Consciously or not, the artist is playing with the hypnotic cycles.
Luigi Tozzi, born in Roma, coming from a family of artists, still nourishes the hype around him, thanks to a talent “palpable” in the first seconds of listening, with a musical assurance pleasant to witness again in this new EP.