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Payfone makes its Leng Records debut with a simmering, sunset-ready sizzler that oozes drowsy heat from start to finish. It’s a slow-burn dancefloor beauty all right, but we expect nothing less from Anglo Italian Phil Passera and his growing band of musical collaborators.
Since making their debut with the brilliant “International Smark” back in 2013, Payfone has delivered a swathe of superb singles which cannily combine elements of boogie, disco, NYC proto-house, acid house and Balearica in uniquely alluring ways. Passera has a reputation for using no samples in his creations, instead favouring live instrumentation, classic electronic hardware and ear-catching vocals.
Since we last heard from Payfone, Passera has moved his studio from his East London warehouse to a wooden shack in Sant Celoni, a sleepy Catalonian town near Barcelona nestled in the foothills of the Montseny and Montnegre mountain ranges. The inspiration of his new surroundings is clear on this warm, groovy and undeniably picturesque composition.
“Last Night In Sant Celoni” is a love letter from two girls meeting and falling in love amidst the tumbling streets and dramatic views of this little-known town just a few miles up the Mediterranean coast from Barcelona.
Featuring the innocent, under stated singing of Los Angeles’ based Jaz James and the seductive Spanish speech of Beunos Aries-based Lumdilla Rodriguez, the duo narrates a romantic, bilingual love story that will melt your heart. Incidentally, it could well be the first (partly) English-language song dedicated to Sant Celoni, but don’t quote us on that.
Musically, Payfone is in fine form on “Last Night in Sant Celoni” where Phil Passera offers up a warm and humid chunk of soft-touch dancefloor bliss underpinned by a combination of vintage analogue drum machine, 1980s style slap bass, rich electric piano motifs, and casually brilliant jazz guitar flourishes provided by regular Payfone guitarist Royce Wood Junior.
This result of years of collaborative work (this song began as a keyboard riff written in a New York studio in the heatwave of 2014), the track’s sumptuous groove seems to gently tug at the senses like the lapping waves on a Baleric Mediterranean beach at Sunset.
The original mix comes accompanied by a more up-beat interpretation by Swiss stalwarts In Flagranti. Opting to fatten the groove whilst dubbing out many of the assembled musical elements, the experienced duo brilliantly wraps lo-fi synthesizer lead lines and 1980s package holiday pop flourishes around a chugging, low-slung groove that will have even the laziest dancers skipping towards the dancefloor.
A1. Last Night In Sant Celoni
B1. Last Night In Sant Celoni (In Flagranti Mix)