Mike Simonetti "Hazy House"
Published Mar 19, 2008If youve taken a shining to the sultry range of Italo disco coming from the likes of Glass Candy, Chromatics and well, just about anything stamped with the Italians Do It Better moniker, the man you need to thank is Mike Simonetti.
Raised in the 80s NYC hardcore and nightclub scene, Simonetti went on to found Troubleman Unlimited, an underground label that built a serious following thanks an impressive streak of signing emerging favourites like Song of Zarathustra, Wolf Eyes, the Walkmen, Growing, Unwound, Erase Errata, Black Dice, pre-disco Glass Candy and avant-hip-hop legends Death Comet Crew. Yeah, dude has some serious A&R skills going for him.
Simonettis exquisite taste wasnt just recognised in his ability to discover new talent, however. Over time he developed a unique palette for the dance floor, DJing all over the boroughs at nights like Contort Yourself and Aerosol Burns playing everything from confrontational, twitchy post-punk and spacey disco to and rare Krautrock and his forte, Italo. He eventually put the icing on the cake with a mix disc compiled with friend Dan Selzer called Crazy Rhythms, demonstrating his adventurous sets.
It was 2006, however, where Simonetti hit his stride. Using his blog titled Italians Do It Better (a reference to a shirt popularised by Madonna), which was originally set up to discuss rare vinyl and obscure disco goodness, Mike launched a sub-label that would release limited runs of CD-Rs and 12-inch records. The first breakthrough was After Dark, a nocturnally blessed out label CD-R compilation featuring Glass Candy, Chromatics, Mirage, Professor Genius, Farah and Indeep, that had bloggers and Pitchfork bowing to the Italians greatness.
The labels unexpected success forced Simonetti to exceed runs on the comp, as well as the gorgeous full-lengths by his flagship acts, again, Glass Candy and Chromatics and virtually any 12-inch he issues. Needless to say, the dude is shit-hot with his label, and just as in demand as a DJ.
Keep an eye on the IDIB blog, and youll encounter any number of carefully compiled and thrown-together mixes, ranging from the Buckingham Nicks/Wings/Stevie Wonder/Sylvester-heavy "Balearic Sabbath Mix to the recent self-explained "Hazy House mix he prepped for Pilooskis blog.
Balearic Sabbath Mix