a couple Kirlian Camera gems
Formed in 1980 in Parma, in the North of Italy, (think parmesan cheese), Kirlian Camera are at the forefront in the experimental synth sound. They are actually still together and releasing material from time to time. Their first gig was at an Italian Gay Pride party.
Considered the fathers of the Italian electronic music scene the group had a volatile career often spent fighting record labels that wanted to exploit their more commercial side. Blending new wave, dance, minimal, synth-pop, goth, and post-punk they were not easy to peg and they liked it that way.
The main member is Angelo Bergamini, the other members have changed over the years. Their first release was entitled Dawn in 1980 followed quickly by a self titled e.p. in 1981. Incidentally they were never big in Italy but very much appreciated abroad. They are now touring in support of a special 4 cd retrospective box set including just about all their releases.
I just sold my 1988 l.p. Eclipse (Das Schwarze Denkmal) to a very enthusiastic Dutch guy. It featured a more dark minimal sound then some of their earlier material which could have been more easily classified as Italo disco.
Angelo was also a member of Hipnosis who had a massive Italo disco hit with Pulstar which became a Top 10 pop hit around Europe. Anfrando Maiola (Koto) was also involved with this release. This Vangelis written tune is another of the all time classic italo disco releases. It can be found on the old site to download if I remember correctly.
Angelo remained active with Kirlian Camera despite his success with Hipnosis, 1983's 12" Communicate was released on the seminal italo disco label Memory Records and is in fact also an Italo Disco classic.
The 1983 l.p. featuring Edges and Communicate, It Doesn't Matter, Now is considered their best. It's moody to say the least and introspective and dark. We already know that I have a penchant for unusual English pronunciation. It was their most successful commercially too.
1984's big Kirlian release was Edges followed by 1985's Blue Room again they were able to come up with Italo Disco Classics.
They have been incredibly prolific averaging a new release every other year for the past thirty years. I'm attracted to the way they present themselves. But I have to admit I don't know a ton about their music.
By the 1990's their releases became more avantgarde and lesser known. So they are considered more of a cult type attraction in retrospect. Definitely highly collectible. Many of their releases fetch a pretty penny.