During the second part of the Nineties house music went through a phase of great changes.
New energies shook the scene with productions that rewrote the rules, you can saw in France with artists like Daft Punk and Dimitri From Paris, in UK with new forces such Basement Jaxx, Idjut Boys or Harvey, and in America, when all was born, with characters as Derrick Carter or DJ Sneak that revolutionized the Chicago sound. In Italy appeared an alien label, The Dub. It was 1997, the new level for Claudio Coccoluto, back from the Angels Of Love experience in Naples that saw him as one of the most original italian DJ’s. If until then Claudio’s DJ sets and early productions had a freeform approach to the New York garage house sound, The Dub introduced a new look to a lot of different sonic contaminations with a series of records produced as The Dub Duo with his then partner in crime Savino Martinez.
A trip straight to the groove’s roots and at the same time a very intriguing update of groove as a concept. The sampler was the primary instrument to create a kind of definitive hybrid. First signs of that in 1996 when Basement Jaxx took for their Atlantic Jaxx label the track Belo Horizonti by Claudio and Savino moniker The Heartists, a 12 minutes titanic house excursion that used, in an ocean of light and shade, the carnival-like sample of classic brazilian Celebration Suite by Airto Moreira. It was affecting the way the easy party mood was in fact a chance for a real voyage to the heart of sound, full of suprises and unexpected turns.
Belo Horizonti become a hit and returned the year later, in ’97, on The Dub label, opening a dynamic discography full of releases by The Dub Duo or, alias shared, Claudio Coccoluto and The World Famous Martinez Orchestra, from The Dub Duo E.P. 001, three trax of melting pot that built the foundations for something that went beyond house, to bombs such The Sailing Suite (from EP#2), It’s New Funky, Grand Hotel Las Palmas, Rushlight, Uno Nuovo, the follow up of The Heartists project, What A Diff’rence A Day Makes, the visionary Precious Love (The Ages Of Love) produced as Holy Alliance.
Up to the year 2000, The Dub became a cult label not only for house music lovers, but also for those who like their stuff dubby and contaminated. UK label NRK published in the meantime The Dub Duo’s album, “Back To Lo-Tech”, “a trip through atmospheres and rhythms often indefinable”. It was something that can be called house or dub-disco but mainly escaped from every category, with the sampling culture that was elevated to a state of art, in a rollercoaster that bring you up and down into the most visceral idea of sound, a solid rhythm focus always ready to fall down in front of that unexpected turn, that wonderful surprise – this is the sense of dub, a cognitive expansion -, the samples going inside and outside the channels quickly, almost happy ghosts dancing that mix of melancholy and celebration that are fundamentals in every experience of sound and of life.
A path that from 2015 lives in a new exciting chapter, with the second phase of The Dub label, Claudio Coccoluto’s return, this time alone at the controls after the friendly separation from Savino Martinez, or with his son Gianmaria, born in the Nineties when all exploded and now enthusiastic for music as his father.
Brand new gems like Everybody Boogie/ Burn Free (The Dub 101), Tribe Call Sun / Discoflavor (The Dub 102), Dio Sole (The Dub 107) e El Gato Negro (The Dub 108) give a new light to the same mission in sound, grooves that shine in a mix of afro, dub, disco, latin, breaks, exotica, psychedelia, in a perfect balance of experimentation and playfulness.
You can feel the physical pleasure for sound that is the permanent feature for Coccoluto, and the pleasure for collaborations too, with releases such the Dub 103 Testa a testa, a joint venture with Kisk, or the DubLab series that introduces new talents like Luca Vera, DJ Lenco, Giuseppe Fava and Enrico Musto, and again the The Dub 106 with trax by Nino Perrone, Astrea and DMP. In a catalogue where vinyl, the only real religion for Claudio, live together with digital, in a work in progress that keep giving away good vibes, always setting the bar higher. The full tracks of the dub are mastered by Alex Picciafuochi.