Iuliano is a French/Italian producer who is now based in Bangkok and just released his debut EP, Hidden Roots. It’s kind of all over the board, but in the best possible way. A while ago we profiled another new artist using the term “folktronica” to describe his work, so apparently this is a thing now. Swedish producer Metaspion’s Folktronica Schmolktronica, however, couldn’t be more different from Iuliano and his stripped-down approach to electronic music which, by the way, doesn’t really qualify as folk either.
It seems that Iuliano is not one to follow any particular paradigm when it comes to music and genre, yet his style is already very well defined on Hidden Roots. It’s quiet, minimal and shoegazey but not without a lot of emotive punch and style. The single that’s probably the most in line with EDM is the first that came out before the album, “Comfortable Lies.” This track has a quite discernable house beat, though it doesn’t start out that way. A bluesy acoustic guitar opens the track, and Iuliano’s vocals belie his French origins as they sound a lot like Thomas Mars from Phoenix. There’s a lot of indie pop cachet here as well, as everything on this track is seemingly upbeat and danceable, though again the vocals and lyrics tell a different tale.
Other highlights of this six-track EP are the other two singles that were released before the album. “Who Knows” also starts out with a folk guitar and remains that way for most of the verse, but the beautiful and ambient cacophony that is the chorus is completely surprising and will give give listeners goosebumps.
The most recent single and video is the title track and may be the most poignant of the album. This track’s folk accents are more of the country ilk and the electronic elemnts are very subtle but nonetheless there. “The Hidden Root” really shows that despite having a lot of influences, Iuliano’s style is unique and he’s really just going to take it wherever he wants, genre and style notwithstanding.
Pointing to other trailblazers like Moby, Daft Punk, Beck and Bjork, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s clear based on the passionate technical videos on his YouTube page and the quality of his work so far that Iuliano may join that group of trailblazers, so it might be good to get in on the ground floor, where the “roots” are, so to speak.