Jan
02
2008
5

Magic Fly

sputnik_teck-751540.jpg THE tune that launched a Disco sub-genre on its own (but short-lived mind you, what a pity).

The video clip is fun too. All hail robots from space! Your music rocks BIG times.

Space – Magic Fly (1977)

and its cover version by Kebekelektrik, released a few years afterwards (which is sadly not as brilliant and innovative as the original was)

Kebekelektrik – Magic Fly (1981)

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Jan
02
2008
0

Tanzania

zanzibar.jpg

A very slow paced Cosmic Afro track released by Helen.

Helen – Zanzibar (Afro Mix) (1985)

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Dec
23
2007
1

I Want

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I’m in the mood for that kind of thing today, so here’s another unpretentious and cheerful Italo Disco tune in the same breathe as the one in the previous ticket. And BTW I do really dig this one.

Anneclaire – I Want (1986)

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Dec
23
2007
1

Faces

faces.jpg Released in 1985 on Crash Records (and arranged by Pineapples himself): it’s Italo Disco at its best.

Clio – Faces

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Dec
22
2007
0

Nami Shimada

nami-shimada.jpg

Nami Shimada was (she retired from singing in 1990) a J-Pop artist and although I’m not fond of that genre, a few tracks she did, like Sun Shower released in 1989, are really more Garage or House than Pop. And they are good.

Nami Shimada – Sun Shower (H-Track Edit) (2006)

Nami Shimada – Sun Shower

On a side note, Nami Shimada now appears to be DJing in Japan.

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Dec
21
2007
0

Two Of Hearts

2-of-heart.jpg Uplifting and breezy tune for today, every Italo Disco fan knows this one…

Stacey Q – Two Of Hearts (Extended Mix) (1986)

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Dec
19
2007
0

Spaced Out

spaced-out.jpg Catchy bassline, funky guitar riff, silly lyrics, high-pitched chorus, robotic chipmunk vocals… what else do you want?

Pure Energy – Spaced Out (1983)

(thanks to blackberrie for the disco-very)

BTW, did you know that two of the Pure Energy team, i.e. Curtis Hudson and John Benitez, are also involved in Madonna’s first LP? The first one has even written Holiday. Neat, huh?

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Dec
19
2007
1

Vivien Vee

vivien-vee.jpg Vivien Vee started her career in the late 70s with plain (Italian-flavoured) Disco and moved into the 80s with Italo Disco. Her most notable hit is IMO the incredible Higher, very melodic and well produced.

BTW most of her songs are arranged and produced by the duo behind smash-hit bands such as Capricorn and Kasso and composed of Giancarlo Meo and Claudio Simonetti. (More on Claudio and his OSTs soon, in an upcoming ticket)

Vivien Vee – Give Me A Break (1979)
Vivien Vee – Higher (1983)
Vivien Vee – Heartbeat (1987)
Vivien Vee – Cross My Heart (Club Mix) (1989)

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Dec
18
2007
0

Appointment In Space

house-of-the-future-1953.jpg A fun attempt at quirky futurism, by the crazy Belgian trio Telex in 1988. From their great Looney Tunes album.

A track looking towards both the late 70s Space Disco and the typical 80s bleepy Synthpop. Mixed with the obvious Belgian touch one would expect from Telex.

Telex – Rendez-Vous Dans L’espace

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Dec
14
2007
0

Okay Okay

roller-disco.jpg Direct follow-up to Me Quale Idea and released one year later in 1981. It’s almost the same song… which means it is good.

Same bouncy bassline and same laser twirls.

Pino D’Angiò – Okay Okay

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Dec
11
2007
0

You Got My Soul

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Released in 1984 on the mythic Crash Records, You Got My Soul is a very fine piece of Italo Disco. And now I know (see previous post) that the first Valerie Dore team is behind this great tune actually.

Domina – You Got My Soul

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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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