What DJ’s Play: Italo Johnson

How do you describe a collective of musicians who claim anonymity from the world around them? Who keep their identities hidden behind white label, vinyl-only releases and press shots that show little more than a haircut and vague facial features (if you’re lucky)? Without the luxury of carefully-worded press releases to pull from or a ‘hype’ as devised by management types what we know about the three producers is formed from just two things – the music they make and their ability to fuel a dancefloor.

ItaloJohnson first came to our attentions in 2010 with their debut EP ‘Untitled’ and their track ‘Untitled’. Confused? Don’t be, as their emotive take on house music speaks for itself, even if requesting ‘ItaloJohnson – Untitled’ during one of their sets will probably get you nowhere. Before ItaloJohnson join Bicep (live), Leon Vynehall, Mano Le Tough, Avalon Emerson and many more for the sold out Percolate takeover on 17th November, the trio gift us an insight into their shared musical minds in five records.

OCH – Love Unconditional

We have always been big Trelik, and particularly Baby Ford fans, so we’re always keeping a
sharp eye or ear on what’s going on with the label. OCH is an interesting and capable
artist who has produced some great tracks, though this one is definitely one of his
best pieces so far. The B1 is as much of a bomb as the A side, so both of them have their certain moments in our sets, especially when building up a night often makes it hard to decide which one to play. But let’s come back to the A side: it’s crispy, structured and minimalistic, yet it’s emotional aesthetic fits perfectly with our common taste. So, big up to OCH here!

Juxta Position – Barrier Block

Juxta Position is venturing out on very thin ice, taking on the giant challenge of covering
Goldie’s ‘Angel’ here. Thankfully, he’s doing the original more than justice with an
outright wrecking ball of a track at all levels. This is just pure energy. We’re
big fans and friends of his so we had the great fortune to get it well before the release
date and reliably wrecked some dancefloors throughout the summer with it. We’re not
exaggerating when we already describe this one as one of our tracks of the year. It’s a
crucially essential piece of music in our bags.

Djrum – Induction

‘Induction’ is a masterpiece – in the truest sense of the word. This production still
supplies us with astonishment and deep admiration. How can anyone create and
produce such a sublime track? The sound-design, the arrangement, the whole
atmosphere – if you take a deep listen it will absorb you. And, if you deal with the
technical and artistic dimensions, you have to take good care not to get caught in
lamenting self-doubt, haha. Just kidding, but this production is just absolute madness.
For us. it’s the Photek ‘ni ten ichi ryu’ of our time.

Point Blank – A Game Of Two Halves

We’ve played this record countless times over many years. We’ve lost a copy in Panorama Bar, bought it again, lost it again and eventually found it again, so it’s still in the bag after all
these years. And it still creates still something special whenever we play it. In the early-hours the long break with those incredible pads and it’s warm bassline feels like a big hug, a
reward for everyone involved in the night and a celebration of all the shared energy. And when the clap sets in and brings back the rhythm it spreads out pure dopeness. Definitely one of our
all-time favourites.

ROD – Extra

Talking about ROD, we all agree that he’s bloody marvellous. He’s a phenomenon on so
many levels, an unreal DJ, a solid producer and a great guy. He’s constantly delivering straight, dry and highly functional club tools that we all play pretty regularly. The fact that he’s not only a pro in writing beatless DJ tools (which he’s proving with this beauty of a track) is convincing right down the line. Frequency-wise ‘Extra’ it’s absolutely clean, yet emotionally saturated and deeply moving – this beauty is a must. We have to be careful not to argue about who will play the track in our warm-ups. Too good!