Mauro Picotto Superclub

Like a star collapsing under its own weight, the bloated genre of trance, with its glut of formulaic DJs and producers, is currently in a nose dive. That said, there remains a need for the kind of energy trance brought to the dance floor and who better to deliver the genre’s evolution than famed Italian DJ/producer Mauro Picotto and his sidekick Riccardo Ferri. Picotto’s third album Superclub — a nod to his popular Ibiza night Meganite — drops a two-disc set that plays with some of the conventions that made trance fun, but done in a way that is wholly intelligent and fresh. On "Giganite” the epic moments are subtle, and consist less of warp-speed climaxes and more with soaring melodies dirtied by grumbling bass lines and deep two-step beats that seem ubiquitous throughout. Picotto opens with an infectious cut-up of Steve Greenburg’s disco anthem "Funky Town” and never stops pouring on the energy. The intensity is only slightly tempered by quirky ambient notes and harmonic digitry which, in the style of Underworld, especially Darren Price, produces the kind of layered techno-leviathans they excel at. But without Ferri’s underground sensibilities, Picotto stumbles. Ferris’ absence on "Megalounge” gives Carl Fanini time to utter pappy crap like: "Angel eyes in stormy weather” and "just seek the answer.” Picotto’s foray with Fanini is a clear case for monogamy. (No Fun)