At 20JFG we construct elaborate worlds in order to better describe the sounds we hear. But every now and again we hear something that does such an exceptional job on its own that our words should really be as minimal as possible.
So here goes.
The Underground Sound of Rome’s 1991 release, Secret Doctrine, is a House record. It is also a weird and laid back mutant Bosa Nova record. It’s also kinda’ Balearic (that’s probably the water and bird sounds that open it). Oh and there’s some digital pan pipes to begin with so throw New Age into the mix too.
We really begin with Jamie Principal-y synth washes though. Before moving onto a blissfully simple melody that could only survive in Southern European climes at the height of summer. The whole thing is achingly evocative of some liminal space between the more freeform, New Age elements of Disco and the harder approach to House that would come to dominate. A space between worlds where bodies pulse, rather than pound, to the drums.
This was re-released last year in a run of 475 copies and is now very much out of print. Sadly. Although new copies are still floating about for non-silly prices.
I found out about this from the excellent compilation La Torre Ibiza Vol.2 (partly curated by friend-of-the-blog Mark Barrott). I came across that while looking for 80s Japanese Dreampop records. Because genre is weird.