Joseph Capriati: Save My Soul
Analytic Trail

If Joseph Capriati's Save My Soul is representative of Analytic Trail's ‘Neapolitan techno' sound, the Italian label's debut artist album also ventures beyond a single style as elements of IDM, dubstep, and electronica work their way into Capriati's material during its generous—some might say too generous—seventy-seven-minute running time. He's clearly come a long way in a short time: now twenty-two years old, his start in music production began in 2005, and he attracted major attention two years later with his debut twelve-inch C'est la vie.

The album features a number of tough club bombs, such as “Hooter” (the title's not randomly chosen either, as track elements clearly nod in the direction of Samim's “Heater”) and “Infierno,” whose jacking, bass-burning thrust gives the tracks ample momentum and drive. His artful take on the genre is showcased by “Tech Export” when Capriati arranges a wealth of elements—chunky chords, voice snippets, drums, burbling bass lines—into a unstoppable banger, with all of it punctuated by the intermittent appearance of a well-timed “This.” The title track proves as satisfying in its understated blend of funky techno and percolating synthetics, while dubstep and IDM seep into the brooding “Johana” in the form of a wobbly undercurrent and sparkling synthesizer melodies. Also memorable are “Looking for The UFO,” a funky and intricate scene-setter whose synthesized cross-patterns are as spacey as they are mechanized, and the percussion-heavy “Tapa Boca,” which taps into house-inflected swing during its bass-pumping strut. The momentum slows for a less dynamic excursion into downtempo electronica during “My Smile With Your Sunshine” before the big beat sizzle-and-stomp of “GMID” and “From Stortoget To Big Ben” again gets things moving.

Raw and clubby yet sophisticated and artful too, the new release is an exceptionally assured collection from the young producer. As already mentioned, though, it sometimes feels overlong, especially when eight of its dozen cuts are in the seven-minute range and when the album includes padding (the aforementioned “My Smile With Your Sunshine” and the jazzy drum'n'bass cut “Dreaming The Space”). Such diversions may demonstrate Capriati's range, but they can also make the collection feel bloated.

July 2010