As one of the most innovative artists of his genre, Giuseppe Ottaviani has always managed to retain a fresh feel in his work. Productions like his acclaimed Live 2.0 and Live 3.0 sets saw the Italian DJ produce tracks live in front of thousands of people, the latter of which became the basis for his 2019 album, Evolve.
The all-instrumental record was the culmination of years of demos born from the main stage, hotel rooms or soundcheck and perfectly encapsulated the sounds of the nightclub scene. The 17-track album includes staples like “Panama” and “Colours,” which are integral to Ottaviani’s growing repertoire.
Fast forward to today, Ottaviani has released the sequel to Evolve, although this time his muse was not the crowded dance floors. Instead, Ottaviani found himself adjusting his sound throughout the pandemic, an overhaul that was fully realized in his latest effort, Horizons [Part 1].
Ottaviani explains this change as an edit, stating, “Change seems to have become our ‘constant’ of late. As such, I imagine something of this nature was always going to be reflected in the ‘Horizons’ albums.”
A publication in two parts, Horizons [Part 1] reintroduces Ottaviani to one of the vital elements of trance music, singing. Absent in Evolve, the harmonious sounds of deeply meaningful and relatable lyrics can be found in all but two cuts of the album. The focus on tone and song is a fundamental shift from the club-heavy records that Ottaviani is known to generate.
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There are seven bowls which reside in the first part of Horizons, each sonically distinct yet complementary in their deeper tones. The album opens with “With You” featuring Monika Santucci. A recognizable track for longtime fans, the song made the rounds on radio shows like A state of trance.
The album maintains its rhythm, rarely deviating from the brooding melodic tones that have become familiar in trance music of late. Tracks that fit perfectly into this melancholic state include “Fade Away” with Mila Josef, “Colour Me” with Jan Burton, and “The Wind in Your Face” which is one of only two instrumentals on Horizons [Part 1].
Once the final chord fades into the final seconds of “Tree of Souls,” a feeling of relaxation and satisfaction lingers. The album is a cohesive work, with thoughtful lyrics from a handful of talented singers. As music is a product of its time, Horizons eventually became a reflection of the mood of a society reeling from a time when the dance floors were empty.
Horizons [Part 1] is available now through Black Hole Recordings. You can listen to the album in its entirety below and find it on streaming platforms here.
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