Bomb Alert! Madato - Portraits

By Joshua Glazer

Since its official launch in April of 2011 by Minus alumni Marc Houle, Magda, and Troy Pierce, Items & Things has become one of the choice labels coming out of Berlin. But along with the formidable reputations of its founders, young Italian producer Madato has led the charge in establishing the label’s sound. His Speak Of The She Devil helped kick off the imprint in April 2011, and his second release, the Portraits EP, continues his roll of highly personalized tunes.

Opening track ”She Dancer” introduces Madato’s custom-created sound palette, constructed with a Korg synth, drum kit, guitar, and modular rack. The result is an Italo-tinged minimal electro jam that is uniquely modern and simultaneously retro.

Astronewta” (an imaginary word for astronauts) grooves with deeper reverb and delay effects that give Madato’s template the space-age effect the title suggests.

Sam Colingway” is a far less literal title (a combination of authors Samuel Coleridge and Ernest Hemingway), but is no less straightforward with Madato’s highly customized sound.

Cheater” also maintains the dark and minimal electro vibe, as does ”Disconsolated,” which slows down the tempo and adds a plodding bass pluck that sounds as live as this EP gets.