Various - Welcome To Paradise (Italian Dream House 89-93) Vol. I 2xLP


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Label: Safe Trip

First part of an expansive retrospective of the Italian dream house sound compiled by Safe Trip label founder Young Marco and Christiaan Macdonald. At the tail end of the 1980s, a new take on deep house began to emerge from Italian studios. Dream house drew inspiration from key US deep house records of the period – the spacey melodiousness of Larry Heard's productions, and the rich jazziness of tracks originating in New Jersey in particular – but sounded distinctly different. Its "head-in-the-clouds" feel – all rich chords, tactile basslines, fluid piano lines, and starry electronics – made dream house a uniquely Italian proposition. First and foremost, the style echoed the wavy, glassy-eyed positivity of the period more than any other. While music in the UK and the low countries was getting faster and heavier, Italy's dream house producers continued to create music shot through with warmth and colorful musicality until 1993. While few dream house records were made after then, the style's sounds and loose aesthetic influenced subsequent styles such as trance and progressive house.

During its peak, dream house – or, as it was tagged by leading Italian label DFC, "ambient house" (echoing the similarly minded work of UK pioneers such as The Orb and The KLF) – could be heard blaring from club sound systems across Europe. The style's popularity was fueled, in part at least, by the runaway international success of "Sueno Latino." Welcome To Paradise gathers together some of the finest examples of the style for the first time since the turn of the '90s. It includes a smattering of scene anthems, like Key Tronics Ensemble's peerless "Calypso Of House (Paradise Mix)" and the ambient mix of Last Rhythm's Italo-house classic "Last Rhythm" – alongside a swathe of hard-to-find, in-demand, and forgotten gems. There are cuts from key players in the movement – the likes of Don Pablo's Animals and Dreamatic – plus a string of lesser-known names whose contribution to the evolution of the sound should not be overlooked. Over the course of two double-LP sets, Welcome To Paradise celebrates one of the most evocative and imaginative musical styles of electronic music's golden era. Vol. I artist list: Key Tronics Ensemble, Dreamatic, Night Communication, Agua Re, Deep Choice, High Tide, Don Pablo's Animals, Open Spaces, Jacy, K2, and Last Rhythm.