words by Stefan Petrovic

The ‘sophomore slump’ is an oversaturated term that has been used in the music world for a long time. For the Italian born Pietro Iannauzzi, better known as experimental electronic musician Indian Wells, this is absolutely not the case. Pause is the follow-up record to the 2012 debut Night Drops.

The Indian Wells name comes from Iannauzzi’s love of tennis. The small town of Indian Wells, located in the state of California, hosts one of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments every year and the theme of tennis was evidently obvious on Night Drops.

On Pause however, those tennis themes are less evident as Iannauzzi pushes into new territories. On tracks like opener ‘Lipsia’ or ‘Mountains’, the Indian Wells formula is truly evident. Layer upon layer of different sounds, all piecing together to make fantastic pieces of work.

Then there’s album standout ‘Alcantara’, which features a hi-pitched vocal sample over a hazy beat with a non-stop thump of a beat which penetrates the ears for over four minutes before finally coming to a long, drawn out close so we can get our breathe back.

Iannauzzi goes in a different direction with ‘Games in the Yard’, featuring the vocals of fellow Italian Matilde Davoli. While it’s a change from the Indian Wells formula, its effect is no less significant as Davoli’s vocals mesh beautifully with the beat.

Pause concludes with ‘New York Nights’, a track which Iannauzzi made in reflection of the week he spent in the city that never sleeps. It starts with a piano loop and some vocal sound scapes, adds some kicks and continues to grow throughout until it comes to a slow, unwinding halt.

So, what’s next for Indian Wells? More tracks he says, and a follow up to a sophomore record that most definitely bucks the annoying ‘sophomore slump’ trend.

Rating: ★★★★


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