Valerio Panizio – “Smash Em All / Squeal In” (Original Mixes) EP [Techburst Records]

Inspired by Richie Hawtin‘s set at the Amore Festival in Rome,  Valerio Panizio is back with some new dark techno. Hailing from Frosinone in central Italy, Panizio debuted on Criminal Zone Records (where he is currently A&R and label manager), as well as releases on Dopamine Records, Tekx Records, and, most recently, 2016’s single, “Press“, on Dolma Recordings.

His debut on Techburst, Mark Sherry’s “dark and twisted techno” label, is an intriguing and diverse mix of sophisticated and classic pounding techno. Here’s the breakdown:

“Smash Em All”

Panizio’s 2-track debut EP on the Black Hole Recordings’ offshoot imprint kicks off with a decidedly different techno attack: booming kicks, ambient loops, and propulsive but low-key percussion and hats that give the track an almost detached alien-like feel. There is plenty of room for mind space as well as floor movement in this track. The build features warped spoken sampling, almost recognizable but not quite. The resulting drop isn’t so much a drop as it is an extension of the opening groove. Not spectacular, but incredibly solid.

The second build is much more effective, dropping into the opening spacey tech but with more urgency and high/low accents.The track is hypnotic tech, despite its nearly hardcore title. The track’s end is quite sudden, leaving one to wonder what could have been added or highlighted in the outro groove. Still a solid, if not mind blowing groove.

“Squeal In”

The second half of Panizio’s EP starts in the best heavy techno fashion: pounding, driven and spare. The track differs greatly from the opposite side, in that it jettisons ambient head space for a direct, driving attack. The build, starting around 2:20, is very well-executed and moves the body of the track into a slightly spacier direction, culminating in a proper but minimal drop that is far better than the other track. This is because of its simplicity of movement and its complexity of atmosphere and synth loops, like a wonderfully trippy tech track that could have been released in the 90’s heyday. Panizio’s use of subtraction during his builds, while not unique, are refreshing in these days of “kitchen-sink-building-into-nothing drops.”

There are no pretensions with this track: just hard, moderately fast, straight-from-the-hip techno that should establish Panizio among the ranks of the better-than average artists on Techburst. This is in addition to one of Black Hole’s voluminous heavyweights, as evidenced by Sander van Doorn dropping the track in one of his Identity broadcasts (#395).

Criminal Zone Records site: 
Techburst Records:


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