Rio Padice – Tropical Interlune Reviewed


Rio Padice is a Neapolitan producer and DJ that has been unwavering in the application of his trade for some six/seven years now. With releases on Tsuba and Rawax, he has established himself as a favourite amongst European crowds, particularly at home and in Germany. To my mind, his most discernible production feature is his ability to fashion an alluring groove and surround that energy with an appropriate melody. Simple some might say, but to seamlessly sew these most basic of elements together is they key to creating interesting and enthusing dance music. With his first attempt at a long player, Tropical Interlune Padice has audibly stepped away from what he already knows and has embraced a new and more intuitive process, for me making this work his best to date.

As the executor of his own Early Sounds label Padice, up until now, has been more inclined to colour between the lines. Conversely, it feels that the longer playing format has been the impetus Rio needed to stretch his legs because, even on its first listen Tropical Interlune has a greater depth, a more polished veneer and a richer, warmer sound than much of his output to date. Rios sparsely populated website hints toward a fresh production approach and most commendably, highlights how the albums creator deliberately changed the way in which he works to help him craft something new, both for him and for his listeners. This gutsy determination to experiment has proved successful as the nine tracks present feel completely in agreement with one another, as if they have all been borne from the very same place. The adoption of more traditional studio techniques has endowed Padice with a rounder sound, which sets this work apart from his releases up until now.

The album is full of highlights and as I mentioned, the entire compliment of songs work incredibly well together. Tropical is most certainly the operative word as almost every song is heavily bestowed with Latin percussion and complimented in the main by motion filled bass lines which are primed for feeling good and get people on their feet. However, this is not just about the dance floor, in much the same way as the music of Motor City Drum Ensemble, this album is about soul; its about freedom of movement and about feeling uninhibited no matter where you are or what you maybe doing. Marea, Inquieto and La Palma perfectly display these attributes. Each possesses the power to transport the listener to anywhere they may like to be. Paranoidale is a bit more of a fist pumper, but it still sits suitably within the overall composition of the album, utilising the same percussive elements that make the three aforementioned offerings so engrossing. Insenature acts as a perfect opening chapter; it doesnt give the game away entirely but lets us know enough to keep us wanting more. Melodious and dreamy, its most comparable to Gravitazionale, although the latter is heavier handed with the tropical seasoning. Each song has its own merits but the real reward is to listen to them together and immerse yourself in Padices sonic pleasantry.

The more you listen to this album, the more you will come to enjoy it. By listening to Rios earlier releases you will also appreciate how he has come to this juncture and the wholeness of the LP as a standalone piece of music. The album format is a suit that Rio wears well and with Clone behind its distribution it is certain to turn a few heads.

Anthony Mooney