Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Decibel: Vivo da re (Spaghetti Records, 1980)

New wave's never been as close to Sixties pop as in "Vivo da re". The alienated euphoria of Devo or Blondie combines here with the melodic sweeties of Equipe 84 (literally: "Io ho in mente te" is a dissociated cover of their most famous classic).
So the songs feature neurotic synth tickings as well as vaudevillian piano figures, spotless vocal harmonies and spastic rhythm fragmentations. Sparks are just behind the corner.

A nonchalant sense of decadence rises over the songs. Many songs embody the boredom and world-weariness of those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
These songs are haughty and nihilist, witty with their wordplays and often crudely ironic. But most of all they're immediate, energetic and communicative: one of the most pop fruits of the Italian new wave season.

Decibel were from Milan, and their lead singer was Enrico Ruggeri. This is their second album.

  1. Il mio show
  2. Supermarket
  3. Pernod
  4. Io ho in mente te
  5. Sepolto vivo
  6. Vivo da re
  7. Contessa
  8. A disagio
  9. Teenager
  10. Tanti auguri
  11. Peggio per te
Download (~172 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Donatella Rettore: Kamikaze Rock'n'Roll Suicide (Ariston, 1982)
Matia Bazar: Tango (1983)

Monday, January 18, 2010


Militia: Elvengamello (Materiali Sonori, 1997)

Elusive, but bewitching: "Elvengamello" is a voyage through obscure landscapes, memories that intersect and tangle each other. Deliberately fragmentary, but connected through a subliminal narrative flow, an esoteric mood which cleverly creeps between a haunting sense of decadence and a detached taste for intellectual constructions.

The musical palette encompasses a wide range of influences, but most of all a constant - yet indirect - reference to a trans-cultural Mediterranean heritage. A mix of Arabian, Northern-African and South Italian folkloric echoes enriching the setting of the global end-of-the-Empire atmosphere.
Other references are surely the wavering suspension of Tuxedomoon, or the emaciated utopism of CCCP. Industrial percussions, urticant (but extremely discerned) guitars and spare multi-language spoken-word intermissions are the last elements of a firmly unhortodox sound-world that even verges on progressive.

This is the second LP by Militia, a band from Perugia. Founded in 1979, they crossed the Eighties without publishing almost anything: their first record is a 1985 EP, the second one (the album "Dunarobba") dates 1990. Some of their members, though, created the important label Materiali Sonori, which printed all of their few records besides many other interesting works by Italian and international artists (Tuxedomoon, A Certain Ratio, Durutti Column etc.).


  1. 17 Pluviose
  2. Vorrei morire
  3. Elvengamello
  4. Fila & strocca
  5. Mare crudele (2)
  6. Su Santitad
  7. Giorno dopo giorno
  8. A Map of Valentine
  9. Il male, il peggio
  10. Welmite Notizen
  11. Il fuoco e il vino
  12. Disquisizione
  13. Hua
  14. Sciopero generale
  15. Untitled
Download (128 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Nicola Alesini, Pier Luigi Andreoni: Marco Polo (Materiali sonori, 1996)
L'enfance rouge: Trapani - Halq al Waady (Wallace, 2008)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


L'orchestra di Piazza Vittorio: Sona (RadioFandango/Edel, 2006)

World music. Literally: there's the whole world, in this album. Music from everywhere, blended in a charming melting pot aesthetics. As in the most refinate recipes (or the most genuine), the flavours preserve their own identity. Fused, but not confused, the multiplicity of musical cultures animating "Sona" gives rise to a rich fresco. Or maybe a colorful and intricated tapestry, portraying the many faces the music can take around the world.
Tracks like life scenes - music for dancing, music for relaxing or to get blithe, moody music and sing-along music. African percussions, jazzy layerings and orchestral elegance. Maghrebi seductiveness, Brazilian saudade.

And a bit of Italian song craftmanship. The man behind this oversized multi-ethnic ensemble (16 elements from all over the world) is Mario Tronco from Avion Travel. In league with the documentarist Agostino Ferrente, he started the project as a way to make people from the different cultures living in Rome know each other.
The experience is documented on the feature film "L'orchestra di Piazza Vittorio".

  1. Sona
  2. Ena Fintidaarh'k
  3. Fela
  4. Helo Rama Per
  5. Laila
  6. Balesh Tebsni
  7. Ena Andi
  8. Sandina
  9. Vagabundo Soy
    Download (256 kbps)

    Similar albums on the blog:
    Radiodervish: In acustico (Cosmasola, 2001)
    Ritmia: Forse il mare (New Tone, 1986)

    Friday, January 15, 2010


    Easy Going: Fear (Banana Records, 1979)

    Synthetizers, orchestral layerings, jazzy harmonies. Vocoder. Moroder. This is the italo-disco sound of "Fear". Galloping, opulent, it never takes a break: its straightaway pace is constantly one step farther than you. Don't dismiss it as a carbon-copy of canonical disco music! It's wonderfully orchestrated and performed (a sine qua non for the genre), but it embodies a tipically European conception of the rhythm. A mechanical beat which projects funky into the realm of pure circularity. Something that would eventually gain ground in the U.S. and give rise to techno and house music...

    Brazilian percussion ornaments don't really enrich the groove, they rather add some colour and make it even more hypnotic. And the vocals, often transfigured by electronic effects, doesn't have any of the soulful and liberating fibre of the usual disco classics. They're wry and sardonic, and perfectly merge with the lush style of the orchestrations and the smart elegance of the interplays: something Burt Bacharach would be proud of (or maybe not, but who cares).
    Get caught in the breeze!

    Easy Going was the most important disco-music project of Claudio Simonetti (of Goblin fame), Giancarlo Meo and Douglas Meakin. Songs were written and arranged by Simonetti, and performed mostly by himself (keyboards, guitar, bass) and a plethora of Italian collaborators disguised under fake English names. Simonetti still looks back at his disco-music years as the most funny and creative part of his decennal career.

    1. I Strip You
    2. Fear
    3. To Simonetti
    4. Put Me in the Deal
    Download (192 kbps)

    Similar albums on the blog:
    Giorgio Moroder: E=mc² (Durion, 1979)
    Goblin: The Goblin Collection, 1975-1989 (DRG, 1995)