And they don't disappoint. After listening to this release a number of times, I'm still asking myself which disc I prefer, but I'm also struck by the rawness of it all, particularly Raresh's contribution. It reminds me of being at a Wiggle party circa 1997-98. I can pay this release no higher tribute than the thought that both Galluzzi and Raresh, particularly Raresh, remind me of a composite of Terry Francis, Nathan Coles and 'Evil' Eddie Richards at the height of their demonic powers. All that's missing is the occasional vocal.
There really isn't a great deal of difference between the music that put Croydon and South London on the map in the late nineties and that which is being cranked out afterhours in the sexiest nightspots in Ibiza, Berlin, Barcelona and beyond. I suppose it's the warehouse spirit really. Galluzzi, a Cocoon resident for a long while, and Raresh, along with fellow Romanian upcomers Pedro and Rhadoo, instinctively know all the right twists and turns. There's a claustrophobic feel that hangs over the whole of this double pack, with Galluzzi's being the more coherent of the two, but that's only an impression.
In any case, by the time you've got to the Raresh disc, or maybe that's the one you started with, things have taken a dive into a more liquid world. It makes a lot of sense, but only if you go with the flow. It's difficult to pinpoint specific tracks on the mix, but, for the sake of argument, I'm pleased that Galluzzi has taken two of this year's stalwarts, 'Plastik' and 'Like a Child (Carl Craig mix)' and made them sound as fresh as possible. On disc two, Raresh is nothing if not patriotic, featuring three tracks by Petre Inspirescu and one from Rhadoo. Both DJs, as mentioned before, omit any obvious vocals, but do include a gamut of subliminal samples specifically designed, no doubt, to unsettle.
It's easier to pick out specific highlights on Galluzzi's mix than Raresh's, 'Take Away feat. John John' by Michael Ho being one of them. Raresh's disc is more like one long timestretched voyage into the murky depths of funky depravity, and as such it's much more than the sum of its parts. Pedro Inspirescu's 'Iarmaroc' surprises with it's off-key piano while Matt John's 'Soulkaramba' adds a small ray of sunshine to an otherwise nocturnal world full of twists and turns.
I'm enthusiastic, but it's certainly a mix that is not going to sit easy with some. For my money, Galluzzi and Raresh combine to push all the right buttons on their journey into the abyss here, and it's satisfying stuff. Just one issue remains: Am I the only person who thinks that the Cocoon logo looks like Larry Blackmon's codpiece?