Dec
11
2007
5

The Story Behind Valerie Dore

valerie-dore-wrong-direction.jpg

Thanks to a recent post by Johan Agebjörn I’ve discovered that Valerie Dore was in reality the name of a studio project, involving a tremendous amount of people, and not just a single band.

Anyway, and because it was too tempting…

Valérie Dore – Get Closer (1984)
Valérie Dore – The Night (1984)
Valérie Dore – It’s So Easy (Maxi) (1985)
Valérie Dore – Lancelot (1986)

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Dec
10
2007
2

Running Up That Hill (For Cover)

childrunninghappiness.jpg

Everybody (?) knows Kate Bush, talented English artist and behind loads of hits in the eighties. I do really appreciate her Running Up That Hill, released in 1985, and I’ve recently noticed that it’s been covered by a wide array of Electronic producers, a lot.

Some are pure garbage to my ears but others are quite excellent, not surprisingly the ones I prefer are those that kept the simple melody, the strong reverb and all the things that made the original release great.

The Original:
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (Extended Version)

A slight Electro redux:
Datassette – Running Up That Hill (2005)

A more Housey outfit:
Housego – Running Up That Hill (2006)

And finally a gentle commercial House reconstruction not using the main chorus as the gimmick:
Infusion – Running Up That Hill (2002)

Edit by Kundalini:
AND finally a slow italo synth-pop because Italians Do It Better (as you should know by now).

Chromatics – Running Up That Hill (2007)
(Listen to the full track)

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Dec
09
2007
3

A Tribute To Franco Rago And Gigi Farina

silicon-chip.jpg Franco Rago and Gigi Farina were great underground producers in the synthpop/italo disco vein.

Working exclusively as a duo under several monikers in the 80s, it appears that they were only active in the beginning of the decade and never reappeared then (with a notable exception), which is a shame.

Here is a small collection of most of their tracks. Enjoy.

Atelier Folie – No Rhyme, No Reason (1983)

Cariocas – Batida (1983)

Decadance – On And On (Fears Keep On) (1983)

Expansives – Life With You (1983)

‘Lectric Workers – Robot Is Systematic (1982)

‘Lectric Workers – The Garden (1982)

Message From Future – Robot Is… (1982)

Peter Richard – Walking In The Neon (1986)

Wanexa – The Man From Colours (1982)

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Dec
08
2007
1

Lady Valentine

monte-kristo.jpg Monte Kristo‘s second release in 1986. A perfect instance of the Italo Disco production of that era.

Some vocal intonations remind me of Valerie Dore, but it is less spacey and more pop here.

Monte Kristo – Lady Valentine

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Dec
07
2007
0

Spank

elvis-spanking.jpg Naughty Jimmy, very naughty… he just can’t stop slapping bottoms. Here we have the original version by Jimmy “Bo” Horne in 1978 and a cover version from someone specialized in such activities and released in 1981

Jimmy “Bo” Horne – Spank

Brooklyn Express – (Spank) Sixty Nine

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Dec
05
2007
0

Acid Thunder

One of “Fast” Eddie Smith‘s big hits, released in 1988 on his Acid Thunder EP… and one of the breakthroughs in Acid House too. The 303 bassline sounds really fresh for this period.

Fast Eddie – Aa Aaacid (Rocky Jones Mix)

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Dec
05
2007
0

Warming Up Before The Chase

One year before Chase, Giorgio Moroder (with his partner Pete Bellotte) released a track that already had all the gimmicks we used to love in the Midnight Express OST.

It cannot be considered as a draft for Chase simply because it is actually equally brilliant and in a quite different range. From the essential From Here To Eternity LP

Giorgio Moroder – I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (1977)

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Dec
03
2007
2

International Karate

I know it’s pretty rare and not really my preferred genre but this time I’d like to introduce a… chiptune. A great chiptune. And also a great cover version of this track at the same time.

Ron Hubbard was the #1 chiptune maker for an early-eighties 8bit computer called Commodore 64. In 1986, for the release of the game International Karate by System 3, he geniusly re-arranged and chopped up a few patterns from Ryuchi Sakamoto‘s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and it then became one the most memorable video game soundtrack

Rob Hubbard – International Karate

Here is a 2005 acappella version of this song too. This one is also one of the best in its genre

Visa Röster – International Karate

BTW and if you like both and can’t choose, there’s a mashup of the two which is available under the name White Belt – International Karate (mixed along with a few Sakamoto’s beats)

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Dec
02
2007
0

Dragon’s Lair

Harmless piece of music from the Italo Disco veteran Koto. Old school gamers will easily identify where the samples used all along the song originate.

Koto – Dragon’s Legend (1988)

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Dec
02
2007
1

Droid From Space

Pre-Italo Disco from space, it is the first track on the B side of the impressive Automat album.

Automat – Droid (1978)

It appears a lot of cover versions have sprung over the years

Mito – Droid (1982)

Hipnosis – Droid (1987)

Even Legowelt gave it a fair try

Venom 18 – Globo Theme (2005)

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Dec
01
2007
0

Incantations

Mike Oldfield‘s latest (and famous) installment in modern classic, called Incantations, and its obscure synthpop cover song.

Mike Oldfield – Incantations (Part One) (1978)

Mike Oldfield – Incantations (Part Four) (1978)

G.A.N.G. – Incantations (1983)

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Dec
01
2007
0

Today In Jerusalem

Slow paced disco (I cheated a bit: it is played at the wrong speed) from the UK band White Door in 1983.

White Door – Jerusalem

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Dec
01
2007
1

Deep Red

The very first OST from Goblin for Dario Argento‘s Profondo Rosso and its disco cover song.

Goblin – Profondo Rosso (1975)

City Center – Profondo Rosso (1984)

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Nov
30
2007
1

Dancing In The Street

Peter Jacques Band, a seminal band in the eighties, released in 1985 the Dancing In The Street LP, a perfect blend of American and Italo Disco. Ecstatic.

Peter Jacques Band – All Right Let’s Go

Peter Jacques Band – This Night

Peter Jacques Band – Drives Me Crazy

On a side note, it is worth noting that Change – Let’s Go Together is actually the exact same song as the first one. Jacques Fred Petrus is the producer of both bands.

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Nov
30
2007
2

Season Of The Witch

A Halloween movie sequel without Michael Myers? It did happen and I’m talking about Halloween III: Season of the Witch here. The movie was… well, below average. But the score was up big time. Thanks to John Carpenter with the help of Alan Howarth.

John Carpenter & Alan Howarth – Goodbye Ellie (1982)

(And it will obviously not be the last ticket devoted to John Carpenter as I am one of his self-confessed zealots)

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Nov
30
2007
0

Don’t Stop

Fantastic progressive piece of instrumental music,
I’m sure you will get goosebumps.

Black Gold – C’mon Stop (1983)

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Nov
28
2007
1

Plants and Life

I don’t know much about Joël Fajerman except that he used to produce a lot of soundtracks for the French television during the eighties.

Anyway, his whole work is really inspiring. Just take a listen to the main theme for a French series called l’Aventure Des Plantes and make up your own opinion.

Joël Fajerman – Flowers Love (1982)

For all you curious people over here, Flowers Love has been played using a Prophet V (main theme and soundscape layers) and an Arp Odyssey (with a resonant filter, for the distinct ‘voice-like’ sound) and sequenced through a 16-step analog Arp sequencer.

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Nov
27
2007
1

Hand-picked Funk: 1980-1985 (and a bit of Disco and Garage too) – Part 2

Blatant follow-up to Part 1. More groovy gimmicks…

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Nov
26
2007
0

Keep On Holding On

Another fine tune from the Midwest duo Josh Barnes and Justen Parris aka Automatic & Silk. Chicagoan House all the way. Bouncing and cheerful.

Automatic & Silk – Keep On Holding On (2007)

which BTW samples sections from:
Margaret Reynolds – Keep On Holdin’ On (1982)

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Nov
26
2007
0

Street Hawk

Street Hawk is the archetype of the 80’s series, the story is in the same vein as Airwolf or Knight Rider but the final result is a bit weaker than its direct competitors IMO. The music score is quite good though. Thanks to Tangerine Dream‘s know-how.

Tangerine Dream – Le Parc (1985)

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