Roza Terenzi – Modern Bliss

8.5

After four EPs last year, Katie Campbell, better known as Roza Terenzi, is certainly due a full-length. Now nine tracks come together to show off Campbell’s broad production palette, through a sound that is recognisably her own. 

It’s a series of firsts with this release. Roza Terenzi is back on D. Tiffany’s Planet Euphorique for the first time since the two producers collaborated on the very first release on the label in 2018, and with Modern Bliss being the label’s first full-length.  

“Jungle in the City” invites you in with its tribal-esque drum patterns that roll nonchalantly before synths cascade gently in and out, creating a mood of delicate optimism. Next, the trickling motifs and suspended chords of “Elevate” clash with the lower frequencies that dominate, and a stop-start effect, which is mirrored in several of the tracks that follow, commands attention. From the get-go thoughtful melodic constructions come to the fore, those that give so many Roza Terenzi productions a warmth that can even appeal to those usually intimidated by the labels of techno and electro.

“Modern Bliss” will have its peak-time dancefloor moment as soon as the clubs re-open. “Clarity, intention, creativity, direction. Exactly where I need to be, my thoughts create reality” – the breathy vocals by Barcelona-based Ivy Barkakati emanate over a memorable melodic hook, with movement in all directions as synths waver underneath. As the pacey two-stepper marches with its jolting beat, it transports us to a faraway place we can only dream of at the moment.  

Flickering metallic drum patterns tease and pave the way for stabby bass and synths in luscious post-electro number “Yo-Yo”. The abundant layers give the track an intensity not felt earlier in the LP, steadily enveloping before “That track (Rewired Mix)” takes us back to the mood of the title track, with its punchy assertiveness and female vocal sampling. 

After a moment of calm with low tempo “Spiral”, the B-side begins deeper and darker than the sounds that came before it. The harshness of the lower sections in broken beat “Total Eclipse”, along with the first appearance of acid synths, balance with a melody that moves with subtle assurance – a soundtrack for reflection and introspection.  

“Eternal Lust” has an eeriness not captured elsewhere, another fast-mover before the brilliantly named “My Reality Cheque Bounced (feat. DJ Zozi)” rounds things off. Its atonal, distorted intro develops into a chuggy piece of electro that’s probably the darkest collaborative effort between Campbell and D. Tiffany’s alias, showing no sign of the soothing, lighter elements we became accustomed to earlier on the record. 

All Roza Terenzi productions have a playfulness, which Campbell herself has cited as a defining characteristic of her work, and this rings true throughout Modern Bliss. The craftsmanship from this Aussie rising star is a gift that keeps on giving.