Mike Simonetti is striking out on his own once again. Perhaps best-known for founding dream-pop label Italians Do It Better with Johnny Jewel — and, solo, noise rock staple Troubleman Unlimited in the early ’90s and New Jersey in 2012 — the DJ, producer, and label head is leaving IDIB to start a new venture with Captured Tracks’ Mike Sniper. Together, the two will release Simonetti’s new project, Pale Blue, on his new imprint 2 Mikes Records (2MR).
“There was no drama behind it,” says Simonetti of his decision to part ways with Jewel, whose projects include Glass Candy, Chromatics, and Desire, the latter two of which appeared on 2011’s nocturnal soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Ryan Gosling vehicle (so to speak) Drive. “The label was becoming more of Johnny’s thing, basically. I wanted to do my own thing and let him have Italians. It didn’t make any sense for me to be there — it was too hard to get things done because he was never around. Even when he was around, he was always busy.”
Pale Blue’s debut LP, The Past We Leave Behind, arrives April 14 via Captured Tracks/2MR, all under the umbrella of Sniper’s relatively new Omnian Music Group; all releases after that will be solely on 2MR, with Simonetti acting as A&R. Arriving today is the album’s first single and its title track, which you can listen to above. With a simply unduiating, melodically uplifting synth bed and vocalist Elizabeth Wight’s vulnerable yet rich voice, it’s very much in the spirit of IDIB’s signature aesthetic, even though Simonetti says future releases will be more beat-driven.
“I wanted to do a label that Captured Tracks doesn’t have,” Simonetti explains. “Real techno, real house music — not trendy stuff made for hipsters. If I want to release some Detroit stuff, I can’t picture Mac DeMarco fans listening to that. It’s a whole different world. This way, Mike Sniper can have his dance label. He’s always wanted oen of those. The guy has a thousand different labels.”