Back when Aeroplane were a duo they felt a little bit untouchable, their early EPs on Eskimo marking them out as leaders in the newly emerged rebirth of disco. The eponymous Aeroplane, Pacific Air Race and Whispers all carving out a loose, organic take on house and disco that eskewed the previously prevailing artificial funky house sound.
Once Stephen Fasano left to leave remaining member Vito de Luca to continue operating under the same name it felt a little like the directions that could be pursued exploded. Single We Can't Fly was more eclectic, a dub-influenced track that retained the unmistakably Balearic sound of Aeroplane's early EPs but applied to a maximalist template.
We are four years on from the release of debut album In Flight Entertainment and it feels like de Luca is re-embracing a more restrained sound, albeit applied to a more straight-up classic house template. On the heels of his collaboration with Benjamin Diamond, the title track of Page One Is Love sees Aeroplane team up with original house innovator Jamie Principle, and together they create something that sounds like it has been taken out of Frankie Knuckle's song book. Keys pound out a repeated uplifting refrain, with the track riding a warm four-four beat. De Luca undoubtedly adds a little modern polish - the track infuses that irresistible vintage house sound with perfect modern production to create a little slice of summer for your ears.
Dancing With Each Other follows a very similar template, to the extent that it could probably be mistaken for a re-imagining of the title track. Female vocals are woven into the track like an additional instrument and the track features an irresistible distorted synth in the final third that couldn't sound more White Isle of it tries.
A remix of each track features. Cassara's take on Page One Is Love includes a shuffling US garage beat and closely looped piano melody but it lacks the heart of the original. The Ten Ven version of Dancing With Each Other fares better, carving out a clipped tech-house track that plays with filters to create some gorgeous drops.
It is great to hear Aeroplane putting out music again and the straight up quality of the title track feels like a winning balance of nostalgia and modern house. The two original tracks here are arguably too similar to know whether de Luca has lots more to deliver, but as a standalone release this feels a bit like some of those early Eskimo releases, albeit drawing more now from classic house than disco.
Page One Is Love is out now on Eskimo Recordings, preview the title track below: