Hell Yeah! have been operating for over a decade. The label`s latest release is Max Essa`s Han Zon Roc E.P. and next Saturday (November 3rd) we`ll be throwing a launch party at Bar Bonobo in Harajuku. Hell Yeah! owner / founder Marco Gallerani, currently on a tour of Japan, will be one of our very special guests.
Marco came charging out of his small Italian hometown of Casumaro, in the early 1990s. Fuelled by Trance, Techno, and breaks. Relocating to London, he became a regular at venues, such as Club UK. Dancing to accelerated BPMs spun by the likes of Andrew Weatherall, David Holmes, Laurent Garnier, and Darren Emerson. Moving back to Italy, he was schooled in all aspects of “the game” as he rose through the ranks of Bologna`s Expanded Music. Taking on roles in International Affairs and A&R, he eventually moved to Berlin. Where he spends half of this time – when not visiting his folks, or DJing around the globe.
Initially an outlet for “hands in the air” Techno – hence the handle, Hell Yeah!” – I first became aware of the label in 2012, with the release of Enzo Elia`s brilliant re-edit of Now Now Now`s Problem. Issued under the alias of the Balearic Gabba Soundsystem (which comprises of Enzo and Marco). Part of Hell Yeah!`s mission seems to be to dust-off forgotten treasures from Italy`s Dance Music past. Remastering and repressing slept-ons and classics from Don Carlos, Dreamatic, Mr Marvin, Giorgia Morandi, Morenas, Psycho Team, Ramirez, Alexander Robotnick, and Soft House Company. At the same time they`ve nurtured the emerging homegrown talents of 3iO, Edizioni Mondo`s Francesco de Bellis, DJ Rocca, Marco`s brother, Gallo, Luminodisco, Fabrizio Mammarella, Leo Mas & Fabrice, Gigi Masin, Mushrooms Project, Walter “Really Swing” Quiroga, Tempelhof, and Verdo.
After a brief vinyl hiatus (whilst sorting out distro), Hell Yeah! has become a “name you can depend on”. Perhaps one that might be taken for granted. While putting together a “Top Ten” I realised that something from Hell Yeah! has featured in either a Looking For The Balearic Beat, or Chocolate Milk And Brandy round-up – or both – every month, since I started Ban Ban Ton Ton two years ago. Marco has, from his Berlin base, effectively become a one-man “Balearic Network”. Mixing those Italian artists with contemporaries from Japan (Max Essa, and Calm), Norway (Prins Thomas), Russia (Kito Jemepre), and the UK (Vendetta Suite). Teaming up with Denmark`s Music For Dreams, and New York`s Golf Channel. Pulling in remixes from around the World. From Beat Broker, Clandestino, Steve Cobby, Dimitri From Paris, Jex Opolis, Lauer, Miskotom, Ptaki, Radio Slave, Reverso 68, and Jimi Tenor. Creating a catalogue of post-party floats off the Isle of Art Of Noise. Blissed-out Bleep, and E2-E4 homage. Electro-Soul, Sunset Acid, and Tech-Jazz spirituals. Warm-padded House, lop-sided Funk, and Digidub. A reworked revolutionary anthem, and nostalgic soundtracks to summers past – Vangelis-like scores of love and loss. Plus the odd-banger for the glamorous weirdos, and caged Go-Go dancers, at Ibiza`s Space. Often applying the filter of Baldelli`s Cosmic, and Loda`s Afro. Chimes and swells pass for tide, breeze, and Mediterranean surf. Sirens sound far off fanfares. Sine waves slowly sigh. Strings uplift. Tabla Echo. Rhythms are rainfall, sleepy, dream-state drum machines, and Tropicalia loops. Guitar arcs ache respectfully towards Shoegaze.
Our other very special guest on November 3rd will be Al Mackenzie.
Mr. Mackenzie`s probably best known for DJing at Sean McLusky`s early 90s nights at Maximus in Leicester Square. Namely the infamous Love Ranch. Which, along with events such as London Calling, sought to take Acid House / Balearic hedonism, and fuse it with guitar-welding live bands. Resulting in ESG-inspired crews, like Gramme, and Big Beat outfits, such as Wall Of Sound. Pre-empting / kick-starting the rise of Electroclash, and a Punk Funk revival. In kind of parallel with Nuphonic`s championing of David Mancuso`s Loft and Disco-Not-Disco. I remember Love Ranch as a place of “squaddie” crew cuts (Psychedelic Skinheads – whatever happened to Reece and Jason?), combat boots, and leather trousers. Leather waistcoats and hairy chests. A strong smell of testosterone and poppers in the air. Where you might find me propping up the bar, and frequenting the toilets with, Primal Scream and their entourage (Bobby H was about to fall). Love Ranch birthed the band, D:Ream, of which Al was a founding member. Which put him at the top of the UK`s Pop charts, and on TV. Their Things Can Only Get Better had the perhaps dubious honour of being embraced as New Labour`s battle cry.
Since then, Al has gone on to run his own club nights, and even own his own club. Continuing to produce music under a variety of aliases, he currently records as Field Of Dreams, alongside musical partner Chris Kentish. Chris being one of the people behind cool clothing company, No Way Back (chaps and chapesses of a Balearic Bent should check their recent collaborations with Dave Dorrell, Junior Boys Own, Nancy Noise and Leo Mas). The duo`s dark, chugging, acidic groovers have graced their own Field Of Dreams Recordings, and Kenny Wisdom`s Pleasure Unit. Remixed by Andrew Weatherall, their tunes have no doubt, in turn, helped to soundtrack Weatherall`s A Love From Outer Space shindigs.