Happy New Year, ladies and gents! Been trying to shake the dust off of 2016 to begin what will be the TENTH year for Systems of Romance. Having started this blog in summer of 2007, I never thought I’d be doing this as long as I have been, while many other blogs have come and gone and interests have waned. It’s true, there just isn’t *as much* undiscovered stuff left to reveal.
Even with that being the case, my interests still lie in collecting and restoring things that have been posted elsewhere in higher quality, and I’d like to start this year off with more of the same. I’m choosing this particular 12” in tribute to David Bowie as well, for this week marks both his birthday and deathday all in one, so what better homage? In this instance, Italian giants Litfiba tackle “Yassassin,” a high point from the last installment of David’s legendary Berlin trilogy. While the original, featured on 1979’s Lodger, is a moody, Middle Eastern flavored track with a reggae tinge, Litfiba take the track into the Italo-drenched stratosphere, translating the awkward rhythms into heavy kick blasts and synth stabs. It’s an inspired choice, one that helped bridge the gap between their earlier post-punk releases and embracing the big beat dance sound they would become famous for in their home country. Both versions of “Yassassin” (an extended dancefloor mix and a shorter radio mix) sandwich an original track, chock full of a similar middle eastern flair that sounds equally inspired by Lodger‘s wanderlust. In general, the band would adapt a very Mediterranean-informed vibe from here on out, all but tossing their UK influences out the door.
For more on Litfiba’s rich and storied history, feel free to brush up here. Otherwise, hope you all enjoy!
Litfiba- Yassassin 12”
2. Elettrica Danza
3. Yassassin (Radio Version)