Massimiliano Pagliara grew up in Tricase, a small town in the deep south of Italy. In 1997 he moved to Milan to study theatre, dance and choreography and after discovering the club scene of the city, he was inspired by the experimental electronic music he heard, something which now heavily features in his work. However, it wasn’t until he moved to Berlin, where he was still studying contemporary dance, that his music career really took off and since then he has produced EPs for Balihu and Rush Hour, as well as two albums for the mighty Live At Robert Johnson.
For the second part of his Connection Lost series, Massimiliano has produced a four track EP which conveys a modern take on disco, ironically creating a connection between the old and the new.
Connection Lost Pt. 2 is part of Pagliara’s work with Dresden based label, Uncanny Valley, which was set up in 2010. The label name takes inspiration from Dresden, as it is located in a valley, a geographical factor that, following World War Two, made it easier for East German authorities to control. This meant that the city stagnated in contrast to nearby ones like Leipzig, where they could receive radio and TV signals, leading to Dresden being referred to as the ‘valley of the clueless’. This shows how important Uncanny Valley is for the city, as the minds behind the label, Carl-Johannes Schulze, Conrad Kaden, Albrecht Wassersleben and Philipp Demankowski, have shown it in a different light and helped to establish Dresden’s own thriving music identity.
Pagliara makes his music in a top-floor apartment that neighbours DJ duo Discodromo in Berlin’s Friedrichshain neighbourhood, an area which he has lived in since the start of his music career. His studio set up has taken him a while to perfect and, in a recent interview with Resident Advisor he described the arduous process of buying, trying and reselling synths until he was happy he had the ideal combination. The first track from the EP, “Trying to Hide But Then I Cried”, certainly vindicates this journey, with the various synths rising and falling above an unceasing bassline and drum foundation. The next two tracks “If You Were Here” and “Ukulele Groove” both incorporate the distinctive, choppy synths that Pagliara uses so well.
Featuring the vocals of Matthew Morris, the final track of the EP “No More Love To Follow”, takes a darker twist with the desolate words “a knife straight through my side, sliding under flesh and bone”. Even with a sinister ending, this disco-minded house release shows Pagliara in all his glory.