It’s been 10 years since Sound Pellegrino was born.
In 2009, Orgasmic and I were obsessed with the idea of paying homage to the club music styles that fascinated us. We were so thoroughly dedicated to keeping this promise we had made to ourselves to always anticipate the next wave, to never stand still, to always cultivate our spirit of contradiction and to always stay one step ahead of other DJs and labels. Every time we discovered a new genre, a new artist or a new track our passion would grow bigger, but our thirst was never clenched and we made sure we would always stay on our toes. It’s here, it’s out, it’s fantastic, but now that the whole world has access to it what is going to be the next fascinating thing that other electronic music fans have not yet heard of?
As we were building Sound Pellegrino, Orgasmic, Emile Shahidi and I were so proud of keeping alive the spirit of the “cool nerd” who had access to secrets others haven’t yet uncovered. During our childhood what excited us was a new pair of sneakers, a new VHS tape brought back from the US to France by an American friend, a new Japanese video game found in an obscure import shop, and later on it had become the feeling of discovering a new artist, a new EP, a new musical world.
Then during those ten years we evolved. We took account of other parameters that would define the quality of a release. We got interested in the more timeless dimension of music, one that was maybe not only defined by the ‘now’. We learned how to develop an artist via Matthias Zimmermann. We explored innovative concepts and provoked unexpected collaborations with our Crossover Series. We converted our savoir-faire to the compilation medium. But the thing that always enabled us to always stay ahead of competition and that provided us with a certain longevity in this industry (beyond just the label, I’m thinking from the beginning of TTC to our recent DJ sets) is the fact that we never completely abandoned this whole “irreverent kid who has systematically moved on to the next thing” aspect of our personalities. It is sometimes a terrible and tiring facet of who we are, one we often wish to fight against or repress, but it’s a necessary evil when one wishes to impose a certain vision and leave a mark, which is our main life goal, what we truly aspire to do. L-Vis 1990 & Bok Bok formed the label Night Slugs; Zombie Disco Squad became Luca Lozano and ZDS; Renaissance Man became Amnesia Scanner; Savage Skulls became Offthemeds; Douster became King Doudou; Bambounou, Jacques Greene, Kowton and others went on to become established acts, and we had the flair to ask them quite early in their careers for an EP, a remix, or simply to be able to give them advice or a little push. This intuition for tendencies, this ability to share our experience and to build a world and a family of artists affiliated to the label, who have since branched out to develop entire careers: these are the things we are the most proud of when we recount that Decennium of Sound Pellegrino.
— Teki Latex
01. ZOMBIE DISCO SQUAD ‘Eurovision’
Taken from ‘Esperanto / Eurovision’ EP — SNP001 (2009)
The track that started it all, blending a certain style of bleepy, bouncy stripped-out house that was the new thing at the time, with timeless baile funk influences.
02. RENAISSANCE MAN ‘What is Guru’
Taken from ‘What Is Guru / Aloha’ EP — SNP004 (2009)
Cheeky & unforgettable chopped-up vocals made this track a longlasting presence in our sets. The visionary minds behind Renaissance Man went on to become Amnesia Scanner, putting their production talents at the ser- vice of their sound’s transformation from light-hearted sample-house to darker absurdist baroque compositions.
03. L-VIS 1990 ‘Compass’
Taken from ‘Compass / Zahonda’ EP — SNP007 (2009)
With a couple of releases already under his belt, L-Vis 1990 was already a favorite of ours when we released that EP. ‘Compass’ embodies the dark yet rowdy futuristic version of UK funky that defined the early iteration of his Night Slugs crew’s sound.
04. TEKI LATEX ‘Dinosaurs with Guns’ (TWR72 remix)
Taken from ‘Dinosaurs With Guns Remixes’ EP — SNP015 (2010)
It was a weird spring/summer when, thanks to a well coordinated push during Miami music week, lots of DJs were banging that ‘Dinosaurs With Guns’ track. The a cappella took on a life of its own for better or worse but this remix strips the track down to its bare essentials then reconstructs it into an exhilarating techno build-up.
05. HIGH POWERED BOYS ‘Udon’
Taken from ‘Udon / Work’ EP — SNP019 (2011)
Former artists on our original mother label Institubes, Surkin and Bobmo created High Powered Boys as a cat- alyst for their compulsive Soulseek-digging of Chicago house and Baltimore club music since the mid 2000s. ‘Udon’ marked the beginning of second wave of HPB tracks where the influences were digested and spit out into something new but still as raw and straight-to-the-point as ever.
06. SOUND PELLEGRINO THERMAL TEAM ‘Bassface’
Taken from ‘Bassface / Pretty Pretty Good’ EP — SNP021 (2011)
Screwed-up vocals, Miami bass influences and switching from half time to club music make up the sonic ap- peal of this track but it’s its dark undertones and the science fiction abstract poetic aspect of its lyrics that give it a deeper aura and a certain longevity.
07. BOK BOK & TOM TRAGO ‘Time Master’
Taken from ‘Night Voyage Tool Kit’ EP — SNP025 (2015)
The vocal is sampled from Para One and I’s remix of Canblaster’s ‘Clockwork’ tune. Inaugurating our ‘Cross- over Series’ of collaborative EPs, Bok Bok and Tom Trago bonded over their common love of Dancemania records and that’s what this brilliant high speed house track is all about.
08. MATTHIAS ZIMMERMANN ‘Luther’
Taken from ‘Isla Dub’ EP — SNP026 (2011)
When we first heard it, ‘Luther’ immediately transported us to a different world. Matthias Zimmermann’s whole first demo sounded like no one else’s music. We have never stopped cherishing the totally alien quality of that track since. It felt like someone re-arranging the DNA of earth sounds to transform them into something incom- prehensible by human standards yet beautiful and fully dance-able.
09. JOAKIM & BAMBOUNOU ‘Wizard Battle’
Taken from ‘Fructose’ EP — SNP027 (2011)
Joakim and Bambounou casting musical spells at each other feels like a meeting of two generations of produc- ers each discovering and learning from each other as they compose together.
10. TEETH ‘Jusqu’à Tendresse’ (Kowton remix)
Taken from ‘Meme Is The New Riddim’ EP — SNP031 (2012)
As an old friend of his we watched Teeth go from Finnish rap legend to electronic music vanguard in front of our eyes and his role as a secretly influential figure of the global bass music scene is fascinating. It was amaz- ing to get another well-respected stylistically transformative artist like Kowton on remix duties for this track, in the midst of his transition from the dubstep world to more techno dancefloors.
11. ORGASMIC ‘Diamond Falls’
Taken from ‘SND.PE
Vol. 01’ compilation — SNP036 (2013)
Orgasmic as a producer often had that tendency to go back to the Atlanta bass sound as an inspiration, while of course messing with it and transforming it into its own thing. With ‘Diamond Falls’ the result is a tough build up leading to a poptimistic new jack swing synth solo influenced by T-Pain.
12. NICOLAS MALINOWSKY ‘Skateboarder’
Taken from ‘SND.PE
Vol. 01’ compilation — SNP036 (2013)
Nicolas Malinowsky, the man behind Sound Pellegrino’s entire visual identity is also a talented producer who regularly provided tracks for the label’s compilation series. ‘Skateboarder’ was born from a skate video part he directed, sampling only sound bytes from the actual footage.
13. EERO JOHANNES ‘Alternate Virtuality’
Taken from ‘Real Virtuality’ EP — SNP038 (2013)
Skweee is a Scandinavian genre of electronic music which regularly disappears and re-emerges since its inception. Big skweee representative Eero Johannes’ music was always like a quirky-nerdy yet simultaneously grandiloquent version of Timbaland to us.
14. CRYSTAL ‘Crystal Forest’
Taken from ‘Get It’ EP — SNP037 (2017)
Tokyo-based synth-pop band Crystal gave their own brilliant interpretation of an electro ballad with ‘Crystal Forest’, incorporating fantasy spa sounds and peaceful melodies reminsicent of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Joe Hisaichi, as well as pulsating basslines and vertiginous pitch shifts.
15. JOE HOWE ‘Groovescript’
Taken from ‘EXEP’ EP — SNP039 (2014)
Glasgow’s Joe Howe, a multidisciplinary artist leaning on the more experimental side of things, always had a certain attraction for DIY electronic funk sounds arranged in a playful way but still focused on emotion. With ‘Groove Script’ he created a beautiful slab of sunny joyful vocoder music.
16. TRACK ID ‘5’
Taken from‘Session 1’ EP — SNP041 (2014)
Having an artist called TRACK ID was just the perfect silly thing that would always bring joy to our hearts at Sound Pellegrino (while shooting ourselves in the foot with an ungoogleable bullet). In reality TRACK ID was a duo of producers made up of Matthias Zimmermann and the artist formerly known as SCNTST and now goes by Skee Mask. All of the rough broken techno weapons that came out of their first salve of tracks caught a lot of attention but it is really the satisfying metallic scorcher ‘5’ which we played the most, to great effect.
17. L-VIS 1990 & SINJIN HAWKE ‘The Pit’
Taken from ‘SND.PE
VOL.02: Crossover Series compilation’ — SNP040 (2014)
We found out post-release that this track featured the homie Martyn Bootyspoon on vocals. The fact that it stands firmly at the crossroad of constructed and deconstructed club music is part of what makes it special to me. It has this brutalist industrial grime thing going on with lots of attention given to texture and sound design but it still stands on its feet, it’s still danceable and playable, it’s not abstract for the sake of being abstract.
18. KOYOTE ‘No Desillusion Baby’
Taken from ‘SNDPE vol.03 - Raw Club Material’ compilation — SNP043 (2014)
«No Desillusion Baby» is a great example of DJ Koyote just having fun in front of his keyboards and acciden- tally coming up with something very unique and alien. Like really cool house music that’s unplaceable on the timeline, with a weird synth line that sounds like I guess flamenco?
19. DEKE SOTO ‘Molly Millions’
Taken from XPNL002 EP — (2014)
Another alias of the man now known as King Doudou, Deke Soto’s first EP came out on Expect No Less, Or- gasmic’s vinyl-only offshoot of Sound Pellegrino. ‘Molly Millions’ is an obsessive club tool which didn’t leave our crates for numerous months.
20. DOLINE ‘Landeoff II’
Taken from ‘Elusive’ EP — SNP046 (2015)
Doline is a true master of melodies and this track anticipated the trance resurgence by contrasting sweet and sour trance leads on one side with rolling drum-focused rhythms on the other. It brought the uplifting purpose of melody back into our DJ sets when it came out.