Archive for the italo disco Category

Litfiba- Yassassin 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, darkwave, italian, italo, italo disco, post-punk, synth, synthpop on January 13, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

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”
1. Yassassin
2. Elettrica Danza
3. Yassassin (Radio Version)

*download it here*

Glass Lady- Glass Lady 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1985, italo, italo disco, synth, synthpop, uk on January 6, 2016 by Frankie Teardrop

By popular request, and with love from Nick at Crispy Nuggets (who hunted this one down, dropped the needle, and passed it over for a quick cleanup), we have a new and updated rip of the elusive Glass Lady 7”. This track was one of the highlights of the previous SOR comps, even at 128kbps, and I’ve been dying to share it in full high quality, even if the flip is a six minute spaced-out dub mix that pales in comparison to the gloriously Italo-esque, sleazy mid-tempo synth jam that adorns the A-side. Just take a look at the cover- you know right away what you’re in for, and it delivers, in spades.

Like the amazing Tocatta 7” (re-ripped recently for those who don’t follow SOR on Facebook), Nick and I first heard this track in the back of Sean/Martial Canterel’s car, played off a well-loved cassette sent by a fellow friend and collector. We’ve been obsessed with both tracks since and have spent years tracking these singles down. All things in due time, I suppose!

As for the details, there’s very little out there to report. According to the sleeve, Glass Lady was the working name for Marty Flynn, based in the UK. The record was made in Jersey and released in 1985, most likely in extremely limited quantities. Happy hunting and happy new year. y’all!

Glass Lady- Glass Lady 7”
1. Glass Lady
2. Glass Lady (Dub)

*download it here*

Peggy & the Pills- Nobody’s Bride 12”

Posted in 12'', 1985, italian, italo, italo disco, peggy & the pills, synthpop on December 4, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

It’s been a very low energy week here at SOR headquarters, so here’s something that gets my blood flowing a bit more, and hopefully will have the same effect on you.

This is a one off Italo 12” from Peggy & the Pills, recorded and released 1985.   While some Italo records fetch insane prices (some of the highest I’ve ever seen, actually), this one can still be found for a few bucks, and is worth picking up for anyone interested.   While the sound is very much in the Italo disco vein we all know and love, this song also calls the sweet, sugary, and sharp edge of bands like Strawberry Switchblade, Pink and Black, and especially Book of Love to mind.  There’s also some guitar undercurrents throughout the track, little stabs of chorus-infused strings that add an interesting element to the track.  I’m also reminded a bit of Stephin Merrit’s Future Bible Heroes project a bit, the sardonic wit of the lyrics call to mind some of the best moments from Eternal Youth, an album I used to adore (but haven’t thought about since coming across this record).

As with most Italo projects, the creators of this track had their hands in other releases.   Keyboardist Marcello Ciao was also the engineer for an early Litfiba release, while Mario Natale (arrangement) also worked with Den Harrow, Clockwork, and dozens of other Italo artists.

 

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Peggy & the Pills- Nobody’s Bride 12”
1. Nobody’s Bride (Vocal)
2. Nobody’s Bride (Instrumental)

*download it here*

Sadly, Peggy Richardson, the wedding-dress donning diva from this 12”, passed away a few years ago, but drummer Andrea Contini has posted an excellent video honoring her life and the project.  This video appears to be the only “live” recording of Peggy & the Pills, and shows the three piece band backing Peggy in 1984, who swaps out her trademark wedding dress at the halfway mark.   Check it out below:

Lama- Love On the Rocks 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1983, electro, electronic, italian, italo, italo disco, lama, lucio battisti, new wave, synth on September 24, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

While many of you are still digesting the latest Sequins and Spandex compilation, I’ll add this as an additional supplement.  This particular 7” became a WIERD party favorite towards the end of our tenure and I still break it out from time to time when I DJ, as it never fails to get the party started.

We kicked off the latest compilation with the 12” version of the track, but here’s a fresh rip of the 1983 7”, complete with the B-side intact. Certain versions of this single have “Nineteen Ninety Three” as the a-side and “Love on the Rocks” as the flip.   My 7” clearly has “Love on the Rocks” as the title track (with the cover art below), but grooms the flip for the rightful A-side placement.  Let’s just call it a double A-side, as both tracks are killer electro/italo tracks well worth their weight in gold.  I prefer the dark apocalyptic feel of “Nineteen Ninety Three” overall (written by Arcibaldo aka Antonino Cocco), but the other track is no slouch, and is apparently a more electro-fied cover of Lucio Battisti’s original disco smash “Il Veliero.” Curiously enough, this 7” was released on Numero Uno records, which boasts many of Battisti’s own releases from the late 70s and beyond. There also exists a 12/7” remix single for “Love On the Rocks” with several versions of that track, but I don’t have those here to rip.

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Lama- Love on the Rocks 7”
1. Nineteen Ninety Three
2. Love On the Rocks

*download it here*

Sequins and Spandex Part VIII

Posted in 1980s, disco, hi nrg, italian, italo, italo disco, mixes, new wave, sequins and spandex, space disco, synth, wave on September 18, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

I meant to post this at the beginning of summer 2012, and put it off for some reason or another. Though the season is coming to a close here in New York, I figured the longer I waited, the more I’d keep pushing it back, so better late than never…

For those unfamiliar with this series, I have a semi-closeted love of Italo disco- a cult Italian-centric genre of music (though the influence can be heard all over Europe in the mid-1980s) with shameless hooks, catchy vocal lines, and drum machines/synths that push the gear to their robotic limits. As with any dance craze (see also: new beat & freestyle) the same law of diminishing returns holds true: for every truly great italo gem there’s a ton of terrible or overblown ones that flooded the market, so with these compilations, I attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I generally steer towards the darker italo, things that sound right at home in a John Carpenter flick or alongside the more club-friendly minimal synth tracks (and file right in line with some of the things I post here), and obviously, the less overtly corny the songs are, the better, though that’s not to say I don’t like a little sprinkle of cheese here and there.

So this is my eight installment of the series, the rest which can be found HERE. Some major favorites in this installment, including another Sensative track, the Disaster’s KILLER “Oh My God This Sound,” Ein-St-Ein’s mid-tempo romp through sleazy Italian streets, and Moskow’s epic “Come Back.”   I may say this every time, but this may be my favorite installment of the series…

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Sequins and Spandex Part VIII
1. Nineteen Ninety Three- Lama
2. Pendulum- Smiles
3. Oh My God This Sound- Disasters
4. Varsavia- Ein-st-ein
5. Don’t Be Afraid- Some Bizarre
6. Give Me- Sensitive
7. Red For Love- Grant Miller
8. A Love Again- Savage
9. Rise Up (For My Love) (Club Mix)- Yvonne Kay
10. Dreamland (Extended Vocal Version)- Mark
11. She’s Gone Away- Jimy K
12. Come Back- Moskow
13. Grace- Three Of You

*download it here*

I have a special 7” to post next that somewhat duplicates one of the artists on this compilation, so if this is your bag, stay tuned for more sleazy, sweaty nightmusic next week…

East Wall- Demo K7

Posted in 1980s, 1984, darkwave, demo, East Wall, italian, italo, italo disco, Kirlian Camera, minimal, minimal synth on October 22, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve had this demo kicking around on my hard drive for a long time, but have yet to see it shared.  For those unfamilair, East Wall were an offshoot project of Kirlian Camera’s original keyboard player Fabrizio Chiari, who recorded the band’s debut 12” (for my money, “News” is still the band’s best track followed closely by the soaring “Blue Room”).  Teaming up with vocalist Wilma Notari, East Wall produced one LP and the excellent Eyes of Glass 12” (produced and aided by KC mainstay Angelo Bergamini), both which can be found here.  There’s also a CD from 1993 out there, but I have no idea how that stacks up against their previous material.

I know very little about this demo tape, except that it was released in 1984, a year before their debut 12”.  Most of the track titles are unknown, but the first track is clearly an early version of “Blue,” which was re-recorded for their 1991 LP Silence.  The rest of the tracks sound hauntingly familiar (perhaps they were reworked entirely for Silence), but outside of some vague similarity, they seem to be exclusive to this tape.   There’s some obvious cassette murkiness here, but it’s to be expected and the tape is still worth hearing for die hard fans of this excellent Italian duo as well as the primitive minimal synth of Tranquil Eyes & A Blaze Colour.

No artwork for the tape, sorry!

East Wall- Demo K7
1. Track 01 (Blue)
2. Track 02
3. Track 03
4. Track 04
5. Track 05

*download it here*

Sequins and Spandex Parts VI & VII

Posted in 1980s, italian, italo, italo disco, mixes, sequins and spandex on May 18, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

So, it’s been just under a year since the last two installments of the Sequins and Spandex series, and since summer is just around the corner, I figure it’s due time to unveil the next two. Italo is very much summer music for me (and curiously, new beat gets the job done in wintertime, as far as the big beats are concerned), and though it’s raining here in New York, I figure everyone could use a little summer cheer. As always, I’ve had a hard time whittling down my choices, so you get two mixes for the price of one!

Before unveiling the tracklisting, I’d like to thank Shawn of Led Er Est/Further Reductions for the continuous crash course in italo, as well as Nick of Crispy Nuggets for lending me a handful of jams from his back pages. I’ve also re-included the 12” mix of Mad Matrix’s “Men Alone,” a Belgian track in the same vein, since it just works so well here. There’s also a UK artist in the mix, but the track was too good to pass on. Anyway, here’s the tracklisting, and I do hope you enjoy!

Sequins and Spandex Part VI
1. Fires In the Night- K-A-T-A
2. Dancing In the Dark- Mike Mareen
3. Queen of Discoteque- Sissy
4. Blue Room (Extended)- Kirlian Camera
5. Witch- Helen
6. I’d Like To Know- Randy Wiper
7. Girl of the 80s- Go To
8. Sing With Me Tonight- Fresh Color
9. You See- Helicon
10. Follow Me- Karl Olivas
11. Over and Over- Fantasy Life
12. Men Alone (Special 12” Club Mix)- Mad Matrix
13. Darkness- Aquarius

*download it here*

Sequins and Spandex Part VII
1. Don’t Be Cold (In the Summer of Love)- The Stupid Set
2. Black and White (Extended)- Bandeaux
3. Hesitation- Mya & The Mirror
4. Just a Story- Mike Rodgers
5. Hookey- Sylvi Foster
6. A Raving Night- Neurox
7. Right- Fake
8. You’ve Got the Night- Lame’
9. Boogie Tonight- M & G
10. Lucifer’s Friend- Vision
11. Waiting For Heaven- Diviacchi
12. Shoot Me (Extended)- Malcolm & the Bad Girls
13. Happy World (Extended)- Ranko

*download it here*

PS- I have a good chunk of leftovers for this one. However, in fear of it being overkill, I’ll wait for you kids to digest these one for a bit. Keep your eyes peeled for the next one!

Mad Matrix- Men Alone 7”

Posted in 1985, Belgian, disco, italo, italo disco, mad matrix, synthpop on December 13, 2010 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a classic disco cut for fans of the genre. Belgian disco with italo leanings, released in 1985. Naturally, several versions of the a-side track exist. The 7” edit is present here, alongside an exclusive b-side not on any of the other singles. For those who can’t get enough of this jam, you can get the 12” extended mix (special club version) by clicking here. Beware the downtuned synth lines! Definitely a killer track in any incarnation.

Mad Matrix- Men Alone 7”
1. Men Alone
2. We Are Mad Matrix

*download it here*

and again, nab the Special Club Version of the track here!

John Carpenter- Christine 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, electro, italo, italo disco, john carpenter on November 15, 2010 by Frankie Teardrop

Glad to hear you’re all enjoying the last few posts so much! Moving right along, I have two posts slated for today, so bear with me. The first is something a little more well known, but no less fantastic. Actually, while this 12” isn’t exactly rare, I haven’t seen either of these mixes floating around in circulation before, so I’m pleased to offer them here.

There’s so much to be said about John Carpenter that I don’t quite know where to begin. Responsible for some of the best films in the horror genre, his scores also have earned huge notoriety over the years, influencing both ambient and electro music. While the score to Christine (based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name) is a more haunting, delicate affair, it’s the disco tracks and pulsing beats that really stand out to me. I included a mix of this track on the second Sequins and Spandex comp., a three minute mix that’s over before it truly begins, and has the unfortunate sound of a car engine revving throughout. Until I got this 12”, I never knew a car-less mix existed, let alone one that’s nearly double the length! The second mix is the one in question, while the first is an extended mix of the Sequins track… Without any further ado, here’s the info:

John Carpenter- Christine 12”
1. Christine (Part 1)
2. Christine (Part 2)

*download it here*

Nemesy- Nemesy LP

Posted in 1985, italo, italo disco, nemesy on October 25, 2010 by Frankie Teardrop

Up on the slab today is an underrated classic italo LP by Nemesy, released in 1985. As with most italo projects, I can’t seem to dig up any concrete information about the parties involved, except that there seems to be three main contributors, judging from album artwork and scattered credits. Paolo Bocchi (Passengers, F.A.S., David Gray) was also involved with the mixing process for this LP.

Expect some fantastic glossy hooks here, smooth female vocals, killer instrumentals, and everything else you’d expect from an essential italo LP. Both versions of ‘Arabian Sacrifice’ are among the standouts, as well as ‘I Wanna Dance’ and ’24 Hours, two singles released before the LP. Here’s the details:

Nemesy- Nemesy LP
1. 24 Hours
2. Touch
3. Arabian Sacrifice (Sacrifice Version)
4. You Can, You Can
5. We Play The Music
6. Arabian Sacrifice (Arabian Version)
7. I Wanna Dance

*download it here*