Rodriguez Jr. has championed a captivating sound of melodic house and techno that cannot be pigeonholed, his vast experience of electronica making him the world-renowned producer and live performer he is today.
In 2017 he released the stunning Baobab album, the follow up to his impressive debut Bittersweet and BLISSS is the next exciting chapter to be unveiled. Inspired by the deep rooted and wide ranging influences of Olivier Mateu including the literary atmospheres of Modiano and monochromatic paintings of Pierre Soulages, BLISSS rewards fans both old and new alike. The album also sees a new pop influenced side of Rodriguez Jr. on two tracks, collaborating with Nouvelle Vague singer Liset Alea, creating beautiful moments of serene disruption.
“Amusing myself and not overthinking is a commitment in itself, especially today when dance music has become something so extremely formatted; at times even taking itself too seriously. This album is a decision to enjoy myself in the studio and use the palette of different ingredients and creative methods of working that I’ve collected over the past 25 years. I was trying to not run after the apex of an idea, but rather to let it take me somewhere else, this state of free creative consciousness is itself a moment of Blisss.” Rodriguez Jr.
Haussmann opens with a spirited broken beat, powerful sub-bass murmurs, evolving with kaleidoscopic synth. The tranquillity of a walk in the forest is brought to What Is Real, here we see the first appearance of Nouvelle Vague vocalist Liset Alea, the gorgeous vocals from the French new wave cover band’s lead singer combining to perfection with warm piano chords. A growing intensity develops throughout Polaroïd with magical starry melody. Title track BLISSS is a spine-tingling cinematic soundscape created with rousing strings, alien-like 303 acid and a driving beat.
On Santa Cruz Rodriguez Jr. draws on the impact of his spellbinding live performance, as he describes “like that moment when people in the audience suddenly close their eyes and let themselves be carried by the music.”, creating an ethereal lullaby. The downtempo soul of Here To Forget You sees Liset Alea telling a story of heartbreak, washing over before frenzied electronics add a surprising twist. Monolith Garden features menacing, growling bass and exceptional arpeggiating synth, conjuring a vivid image of a moon landing. Absorbing tender harmony and the sound of the rain pour down over album closer Nairobi. Providing the opportunity for reflection on the unknown world experienced during the
listen, Rodriguez Jr. summarizes how the album resonates with him, “I guess you can also detect in this album an echo of my own internal peace that I’ve slowly begun to come into, like a sort of unknown paradise.”
Born in the South of France, Olivier Mateu rose to prominence as one half of electro act The Youngsters, releasing music on Laurent Garnier’s F-Communications. Rodriguez Jr. reveals a different incarnation of Mateu’s psyche, guided by his forward-thinking vision and diverse influences. His outstanding productions, not confined to one genre, found a natural home on Mobilee. Alongside this, he has also delivered selectively on Systematic Recordings and remixed for Crosstown Rebels, Eli & Fur, Jan Blomqvist, Monolink and Steve Bug. Spending hours locked in his studio every week surrounded by analog gear and vintage synths, he also crafts his exclusive and expressive live performance concept.
His performance on the cliffs of Normandy for Cercle demonstrating this unique talent has over two million views on YouTube. Driven by his global support and unrelenting passion, the eight-track masterpiece of BLISSS is set to cement Rodriguez Jr. into the forefront of electronic music.
2. What Is Real feat. Liset Alea
5. Santa Cruz
6. Here to Forget You feat. Liset Alea
7. Monolith Garden
A2. What Is Real feat. Liset Alea
C1. Santa Cruz
C2. Here To Forget You feat. Liset Alea
D1. Monolith Garden
Release date: 24th April 2020