Music

Nic Fanciulli: My Heart

Photo: Dean Chalkey (Courtesy of Saved Records)

Nic Fanciulli distills, condenses and refines everything he knows into stunning dance album.

As the old saying goes, "you get out what you put in", and DJ/producer Nic Fanciulli has put everything he has into his aptly named debut album, My Heart. Since 2007 Fanciulli has been stockpiling beats and loops alongside his ever building DJ and producing career with the idea of making that one album that reflects who he is as an artist. The years of blood, sweat, and tears have certainly been worth it as My Heart is a bold, melodic and affecting album that moves between emotionally engaging passages and club-ready floor-fillers.



Nic Fanciulli

My Heart

(Saved)

Release date: 03 Nov 2017

Fanciulli has been ever present on the dance music scene since starting out way back in 1999. His Dj-ing skills have seen him in constant demand the world over, and he has produced and remixed everyone from JamieXX to Andy Chatterley as well as earning a Grammy nomination for his remix of Tiefscwarz and Tracey Thorn's "Damage" under the guise of his Buick Project. While My Heart is a solo album it also finds him opening himself up to collaboration with the likes of Damon Albarn, Aurion, Guy Gerber and Eagles & Butterflies lending their talents to proceedings.

The album opens in beautifully understated fashion with "My Heart-Intro". Featuring the gentle plink of keys with gently circling, vacillating synths that flit around a slowed vocal loop, Fanciulli gives each layer time to slowly dock together as the whole thing builds to a unified whole. That continues into the superb "Imitations." Based on a simple ascending and descending house riff, the more traditionally structured song features smooth vocals with a hint of vulnerability which adds even greater weight to its atmospheric, slow-burning intensity. It's an elegant, perfectly judged early highlight of the album.

"100 mph" is a grittier, darker track with ominous, full chords illuminated by flashes of bright notes like firecrackers bursting against the night sky. "The First Step" is an equally shadowy track with "Thriller-esque", squelchy synths injecting a little funk and bounce. "Wrong" is a rollicking ride of blunt, motorik beats and heavy almost industrial synths. Electro-vocalist JAW gives it a darkly seductive quality as if gently soliciting the listener over to the dark side. It manages the enviable feat of sounding enormous and intimate at the same time.





"The Perfect Crime" features Israeli, underground techno hero Guy Gerber. The track is a sprightly, uptempo number that explores the more euphoric rather than melancholic aspect of Gerber's work. The refined house beat and the sprinkling techno flourishes work together beautifully on a track that would work as the perfect floor filler at one of Gerber's left-field techno club nights. Things come crashing down to earth with the dystopian, bad trip of "Resistance", as automated, disembodied vocals and off-kilter notes threaten to spin the whole thing off its axis. It sees Fanciulli collaborate with Matthew Dear under his Audion alias and is as hard-edged and club-ready as one would expect.

"Saying" features the unmistakable vocals of Damon Albarn in full Gorillaz mode. Fanciulli creates a twinkling, wondrous bed for Albarn's understated, floaty vocals. Elsewhere, "My Love" is a more beat-heavy, propulsive track replete with expertly judged vocal loops, while "I'm Tired" features some soulful, Prince-esque vocals. "Sunshine 101" opens with the gentle tap of beat and fingers snaps before slowly building as Fanciulli gently interweaves layers of sound together. As with many of the tracks on the album, it illustrates his sophisticated ability to build tempo that comes from years spent animating early morning dancefloors.

The home straight of the album further illustrates Fanciulli's mastery of different styles. The epic "Little L" sees him collaborate with one of dance music's most exciting new talents in Eagles & Butterflies. A masterful composite of techno and house styles that gently builds to a kinetic fever pitch as the duo toy with buzzing synths and tightly interwoven beats until it all threatens to pop like a balloon. "The Light" sees Fanciulli joined by vocalist CONSTANCE on a gracefully unwinding tech-house track, while the gentle ambience of "Under Stars- outro" evokes the wonder and awe of the cosmos.

My Heart is a passionate, adventurous album that would sound as satisfying on a home stereo as it would in a packed club on a Balearic island. Everything Fanciulli knows about dance music has been distilled, condensed and refined into this, magnificent debut album. One which sees those years of hard work pay off.

RATING: 8

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