‘Daystar Nocturnal’ – Gianfranco Pescetti Releases the Seminal Album that Was Ten Years In the Making

Last year, Your EDM announced the legendary ambient house and trance artist GIanfranco Pescetti would be returning to EDM in what can only be called a re-debut. The first teaser track “The Wake” off his then upcoming album, Daystar Nocturnal, heralded a new era for Pescetti, not only time-wise but in terms of his style. Now with three more tracks teasing the album for nearly a year, Daystar Nocturnal has confirmed his re-emergence into music, with even more of a focus on that all-important ambient production.

When he originally debuted in 2014 with his first album, Love Is Rain, the promise of Pescetti’s production talent was certainly already there and wildly loved by his fans. It wasn’t, however, strictly electronic and certainly not EDM. More of a melding of indie pop, dream pop and ambient electronica, tracks from the album and the subsequent pop punk hit “All Fall Apart” were billed with other modern and vintage fusion acts like Tycho, Washed Out and the Cocteau Twins. Not a bad number to count oneself amongst, Pescetti nonetheless took a decade-long break from releasing solo work, to the chagrin of the substantial fanbase he’d built with Love Is Rain. It seems, however, that he never stopped producing, only honing his craft.

As an apparent teaser to the teasers, Pescetti released a re-work of the jazz classic “Fly Me to the Moon” in early 2023, a chill house bop which instantly showed that he’d been working on his electronic production lo these ten years. From there, “The Wake” and its subsequent album lead-ups, “Stopless,” “Be My Ghost” and “Clownspunk” also showed that Pescetti didn’t plan to stick to just one genre of electronica, even though the indie pop vibes and vocals of Love Is Rain and “All Fall Apart” were largely gone. While “The Wake,” a mostly ambient breakbeat track had Pescetti’s flare for vintage synths and talent on the bass guitar, “Stopless” was a straight up and down house track with an analog bassline and Goa trance vibes. “Stopless,” another house track bordering on psytrance, gives listeners their first bit of vox but it’s a female sample rather than Pescetti’s own voice, and “Clownspunk,” whose single art matches its cheeky name, has a bass house beat and was released just before the album with a music video which, sticking with the clown theme, is excerpts from Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus, edited to fit the music.

The rest of Love Is Rain contains just as much, if not more variance. It opens with the nearly raucous “Clownspunk” but then launches into two largely ambient tracks, “Macchia, I’ll See You…” and “Obsidian,” a breakbeat electro confection that was clearly inspired by both New Order and Enigma. As one sinks into the meat of the album, a journey or a theme starts to form, with Pescetti’s haunting, Peter Hook-esque bass as it’s ground floor. This is ambient for ambient’s sake, and a beautiful homage to when the new wave of the 80s gave way to the emerging rave music of the 90s, which has now evolved all the way into EDM. Listeners are put on notice that it’s not all a homogenous ambient soundbath, however, as the middle of the album and “Nostalgia Aime Le Rouge” hits, with its experimental beginning and heavy, complex drums. If Pescetti was around back then, this gothy track would have gone right onto the The Crow soundtrack.

I’d like to exist at the intersection of both light and dark, and that is how I hear the music. It’s within this duality that the tension—the push and pull—can be found.

More twists and turns and push and pull await the listener in the second half of Daystar Nocutrnal, where ambient turns to fast beats and moody turns to excitement. A masterpiece for his new era and a love letter to electronic music production and all of the artist who’ve come before him (including himself), Gianfranco Pescetti is back and ready to change the ambient EDM scene for the better.

Daystar Nocturnal is out now and can be streamed on Spotify.