Friday, 27 May 2011

PEDF038 –The 80s are back Vol. 2 – Italo Disco

This album follows the journey of discos electrification – from the romantic euro pop of the early 80s, through the pure electronic overblown polysnth space disco to the early forays into Italo house.

We simply had to make this album: It would’ve been rude not to. You see, this is where we cut our teeth. To those of us drawn toward the synthetic persuasion, Italo was the crest of a wave of realization that you could do mainstream dance pop with drum machines. You didn’t need to be in a band any more, and you no longer needed a laboratory chock full of bespectacled engineers to generate tuned sine waves. A drum machine, a dx7 and a tape machine would do the job.

Whats-more, there was a blueprint. European pioneers like Giorgio Moroder and Cerrone had already lit a beacon, and illuminated the path toward the first dawn of electronic discotheque. The Italians just fused the electronic hi-nrg disco tracks with their long tradition for romantic pop. This generated the initial chart topping momentum which forged Italo as the crossroads between the new wave, the new romantics and new technology and as a result became the new fuel for the discotheques of the 80s worldwide.



Italian? Electronic? Disco? We got the T-shirt!

As the new sound from Italy spread across Europe, and records such as Umberto Tozzi’s Gloria and the seminal Italo classic “Self control” by RAF were translated by artists like Laura Brannigan for even more acclaim across the pond, Italo became a genre per se. What had started as “rock elettronico” on RAIs infamous Discoring had become a worldwide sound in a matter of years. You no longer needed to be Italian to do Italo either, and more and more artists took the sound in different directions right up until to its necessary conclusion at the end of the decade as, once more, and as was the fashion by then, disco was pronounced dead. It wasn’t, obviously. It had just changed its name to house.

This album follows that journey of discos electrification – from the romantic euro pop of the early 80s, through the pure electronic overblown polysnth space disco to the early forays into Italo house. And what a way to start: With an actual record from 1984, written and performed by a star of Italo Disco: Steve Allen. We’ve known Steve for ever. We simply had to work with him on this record, so imagine our surprise when he rolled up to the studio the following day, not with charts or scores, pro tools sessions or midi files, but clutching a box of 1/4 inch tape!



Locked in a studio in West London were the master tapes of a number songs, composed and recorded by Steve, back in 1984! Some, including his worldwide hit “letter from my heart” had already been released back in the day, and others had never seen the light of day! All we had to do is get it onto a reel to reel and digitise its contents. The resultant, remixed and re-edited tracks can be heard heading up the album.



Steve Allen performing his seminal 1984 hit “a letter from my heart”
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The rest are composed by keyboard wizard Geoff Smith, Elliot and myself and are an homage to our very roots in electronic disco. Italo forever!! The album is available for download on our soundcloud, and from all our other usual sources.




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