Published Sep 27, 2017Milan might not be the first place you'd suggest when someone asks you where they should look for their next acid fix, but after hearing Woman 5000, Acid Castello's debut full-length, you may feel the need to reorient your techno geography. Those looking for a modern update to the acid house/techno sound may be slightly disappointed, but this Roland-toting Italian trio tweaks and squelches with the best of them, and you would do best to simply sit back and embrace the nostalgia.
Things start out strongly with "On Destiny's Wings" and "Her Things," a couple of funky sci-fi bangers (the latter of which manages to make a star out of a simple hi-hat measure), and the quality continues from there. The album's first half wraps with the title track, a hazy slow-burner that features a cool improv midsection, which makes for nice respite amid the otherwise rigorous programming.
Unfortunately, the second half is significantly weaker. "Trust No One" and "95 Destroy" rely too much on yawn-worthy scary robot voices, and "Landing on Conga Planet" seems a bit unfocused. Buried within these inessentials, though, is gem "Running Through the Time," and closer "Intergalactic Lovers" has a broad Italo streak that grabs one's attention immediately — an interesting fusion the group could have explored more fully.
Having established their acid bona fides with this debut, it would be nice to hear Acid Castello use them in future as a jumping-off point to explore the genre's possibilities using the technology and textures available in 2017 — at a certain point, there's only so much you can squeeze from a genre's established tropes and traditional hardware. That said, Acid Castello squeeze with the grip of a connoisseur on Woman 5000; this is one of the better acid albums you'll hear this year. (51beats)