REVIEW Massimiliano Pagliara ‘Nothing Stays In One Place For Long’ [Permanent Vacation]

Awaiting the remodel to Melodic House, we patiently stand on the sidelines to see which musical architect holds the blueprint for the next best (dance) floor-plan. Stepping up the challenge, there is no better candidate than Italian DJ/Producer — Massimiliano Pagliara — to stamp up the footwork and ramp up stereos. Revering Detroit-inspired basslines and keeping psychedelic experimentations alive, Massimiliano keys into electronic music’s (pad)lock. His previous case works such as Feel Live LP, and Time and Again LP harbor respect within their resonant frequencies. The ex-dancer spots a dynamic artist when he sees one, as illustrated in his collaborations with Jules Etienne, James Booth, Daniel Wang to name a few. Furthermore, his monstrously effective residency at Berghain/Panorama Bar hasn’t deterred production, as seen in his recently founded label Funnuvojere. Exemplifying as someone who may just be able to do it all, Massi’s wave of superpositions have shifted posh eye-rolls into curious head-rolls. The four-track EP Nothing Stays in Place For Long is released on the Permanent Vacation label – which is an all-inclusive gust of progressive synths and warm techno to heat the winter’s temperance.

The muffled sound of banging coconuts kickoff the EP, and rhythmically trot around a race-track of cheering hi-hats. Next up, a rumble gargles itself down a funky (digestive) track while the analog synth regurgitates a nutritional drum. Wholesomely, a screecher flashes her presence — but only for a second — before she returns to the safe caveat underneath the bassline’ bedrock. Awaiting the peak, mid-track claps envelope and seal the deal. Shortly after, the aromatic funk rises again – transmuting into a layered concoction of dance-floor contagion. The elements fire at random, oscillating a constructive interference and foreshadowing Massi’s syn(thesis). It seems as if the joyous relief that comes with change, can also radiate a nostalgic sequel. Pirouetting into a Don Quixote’s grandiose, rapid cross-sticks tour the rest of the finale.

Shaking out fatigued shoes, the track cools down reverent dispositions to rebalance vital life functions. Quickly picking up speed and layers, the full drum beat engages an array of electronic synths. The solemn bassline keeps pace but the melody grooves through emotion’s impermeable asphalt, and thus paves over-exposed potholes. The regressive and potentially regretful “rushing” realization is surely not related to the sorority/fraternity rushing process in American colleges – but is “accidentally” humorous for that sake as well. The tinny hi hats make their break when the prolific melody breaks down into a futuristic realm and thus, emerges UFO (landing) pads. Alas, the solo keys pair with gritty drums and erase a meticulous/catastrophic etch-a-sketch creation. Perhaps some can steer faster — or slower — than others, despite the position of an observers’ (opinionated) projection. Nonetheless, time’s subjectivity seems to stack on top of this place.

The gift that keeps on giving, hands over the epitome of inner sight, dimming the sunset and lifting off to the other side of the EP. The pads pierce fluffy clouds into a tranquil bliss and stimulate the resonant bassline into a magnetic palpitation. Dazing into a breveted symphony, claps depict a surreal energy while the riff shimmers undertones of variability. Waltzing a well-tempered tempo allows two grooving speeds here; both suited for glowing skin to transition from day-time highlights into night-time foresights.

Dynamically robust, Massi’s length contraction on the sunset version is appropriately mixed for nightfall’s hum and drum into ruminating hearts. The night mix starts with the bassline this time, casting a silver canvas on the ocean’s glossy reflection. Keeping the same elements as the previous track, the latter slowly expands night-visioned pupils. Dilating a moderated tempo, the peaceful synths yearn for nightfall’s harmony. Smoothly stepping into Italo liquidity, Massi’s tidal waves wash over eroding Balearic bluffs.

With a sleeve of tricks (and machines) up his sleeve, Massi douses a ricochet of progressive Techno, sensational Disco, and suave Italo. The process-centered method into electronica’s iso-principal profoundly strengthens with Massimiliano’s talent. Nothing Stays in Place For Long racks a techno vibe but remains naturally limber; and Accidentally We Rushed advances, but submerges into a deeper melody. Both versions of Avenue of the Palms breathe rays of serenity; the sunset version embodies sapphire gusto while the night version welcomes a cloudless cognizance. Choosing a firm form of expression to top off his humanistic drive, a neat pour of elements cleans up any frivolous additions. Once again, Massi has created an aural attenuation, that beats along to his collaborative and demonstrative (inter)operative.

Massimiliano Pagliara’s EP Nothing Stays in Place for Long was on released on Permanent Vacation on February 7, 2020.

Review by Isabella Gadinis