Barbarossa is London based musician James Mathé, known for being a member of Jose Gonzalez live band. A blend of electronic, foo and soul genres Mathé has embarked on his solo project with label Memphis Industries. Pagliaccio is the iTunes single of the week from Mathés third album Bloodlines which was released this year. He has had two previous albums, one in 2006 with the label Fence and one in 2008 which was a self release.
The title of this track is an italian word that means players or clowns, and is also the name of a famous Opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo. With that expectation set the track I have to say was anything but playful and clown like. Pagliaccio is a very minimalistic track driven ahead but he persistent base rhythm and other percussion devices used throughout the track. The track has a very low-fi, indie, California feel to it. Perfect music for a child out BBQ in good weather, but honestly not a track that really gets us going here at TWSH.
It’s a nicely made track, but going by this sound we can understand why Barbarossa is yet to become a house hold name, too much nice and not enough bite to it. Fingers crossed we’ll get something catchy heading our way soon!