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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Italo Disco from a few different perspectives, spacey robotic, synth, vocal or euro pop? Casco, Cariocas,Charlie,'lectric workers,Gary Low,Wanexa,J.D. Jaber and more


In my opinion there are two kinds of Italo Disco. The spacey, vocoder spruced, electronic type symbolized by classics like Robot is Systematic by 'Lectric Workers, Spacer Woman by Charlie and Cybernetic Love by Casco (DJ Salvatore Cusato) and the lite and airy high NRG tinged poppy type like Lunatic by Gazebo and You're my First, You're my Last by Linda Jo Rizzo.


J.D. Jaber (GianLuca Bergonzi) seems to have been involved with both types. He was the engineer on Memory Records classics Japanese War Game by Koto and Do You by Duke Lake. As well as the vocalist on the more commercial sounding and cheerful Don't Stop Lovin' and Don't Wake Me Up.

Below I have provided a link to a zip with both the original 1986 Memory 12" of Don't Wake Me Up along with the 1986 Swedish Remix on Beat Box records. Those Swedish remixes are quite cool and there are a lot of them. They remixed some major Italo Disco classics like Mirage by Scotch, Jabdah by Koto, Bad Boy by Den Harrow, Real Men by Tom Hooker and many many others. They also did some Freestyle remixes like Alisha's Stargazing and Italo House such as Don't You Love Me by the 49ers.

J.D. Jaber Zip

We've heard me go on and on about Italo disco and 1983 before. But to know me is to know that I like to repeat for emphasis. To have a conversation with me can be frustrating. Every third line I say "what?" or "can you repeat that?" Way too many years of sitting on speakers at The Sound Factory or playing my music scary loud. But I'm just not feeling the hearing aid quite yet. The kind of Italo Disco in this post is just the sort of music I love to blast too.



These are examples of the darker more spacey Italo. Two releases from 1982 from Italy, Robot is Systematic by 'lectric workers on Disco Magic Records and Robot is.... by Message from the Future on Blood records. Most likely my favorite of this style is Spacer Woman by Charlie which came out in 1983 on Mr. Disc records, Italy. All true classics of the genre they greatly influenced a lot of Italo that came out after them. WBMX in Chicago was an early sustainer of this type of italo disco and so it went on to have a great influence on early house music too.

robot is systematic

robots zip

Here above I provide a link for Robot Is.... cause it's one of the hardest to find and also Robot is Systematic, I've also thrown in Spacer Woman by Charlie down below.  I've already blogged about that track seperately too.  Hopefully you will enjoy this out there spaced out electronic lunacy as much as I do. I'd also like to give a shout out to the memory of CBS the cybernetic broadcast system because it brought a lot of this spacey stuff to my attention. I really miss listening to it on Sunday mornings as was a ritual for me for several years.

I was living in Rome in 1983 and out dancing many a night but I seem to remember much more clearly the campier Italo numbers like Disco King and Shine on Dance by Cararra, various dance records by Gary Low, like I Want You and the out and out Euro Disco of Paris Latino by Bandolero and No Controles by Ole' Ole'. But I may very well have danced to robot Italo and simply forgotten. Oh what i would give to get back some of those brain cells.  I've placed a Gary Low zip above.                                                              CHARLIE ZIP i'm a spacer woman

Gigi Farina, Franco Rago, X. Monneret recorded as 'Lectric Workers, Atelier Folie, Decadance, Expansives, Message From Future, Wanexa and last but not least Cariocas. Now why they were inclined to use so many aliases if they weren't hiding from the authorities or on a spy mission I wouldn't know.  THE MAN FROM COLOURS

Regardless I'll have to thank them for their efforts. They are among my all time faves in the spacey italo disco genre. Batida released in 1983 on Proto records was a favorite of Cosmic Baldelli's and is another super synthy italo disco extraordinaire.

Kudos to the art director on this 12" too. It's like something right out of Marvel comics.

More posts on Italo Disco to come soon. I also have some goodies in earlier posts so don't miss out. As usual I invite you to drop by my Ebay store. If you click the link to the title of this post it will take you directly into ExpatMichael's vinyl shop.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Love it by Trussel is PERFECTION

Trussel was a funk group from Petersburg, Virginia who first came to some fame as Evelyn King's touring band. Then they had one l.p. release in 1980 on Elektra Records. It featured the infectious disco throw-down Love Injection. But the real prize on it was I Love It. A few years back it was included on the superb cd series Azuli Presents, this one featuring Derrick L. Carter, Choice: A Collection of Classics. Since re-discovering it, it has been consistently one of my most played tracks in iTunes.

It is simply just not your typical disco or funk tune. Not even a dollop of cheese on this one. It's a veritable house party in itself. The production work by Fred Wesley, who formerly had collaborated with the Ike and Tina Turner Review, James Brown and Funkadelic is adventurous and far from commercial sounding. Around this time Fred Wesley also came out with a major Loft classic with his own House Party 12" on RSO records. It was featured on Nuphonic records Loft Classics Volume 2 compilation. But back to I Love It cause hot damn I just love it so much!

The breaks are on fire on this track. In fact by about five and a half minutes in it turns into a full-stop jazz funk jam session. The lead singer starts a frenzied insane scat and then the hook just repeats over and over:
I Love It
I Love Only You
I Love It
And The Things That You Do
I Love It
I Love Only You
I Love It
And The Things That You Do....That You Do....That You Do...That You Do

Truly a disco funk jazz odyssey. This love mantra just keeps repeating until it fades out but by then you should love it too.

Here grab it:

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The Jones Girls are not gonna make me love somebody else, they will do just fine

The Jones Girls were already around as an R&B act throughout the 70's before they came upon the right formula and made some classic disco.  With the help of the genius at Philadelphia International Records, such as Dexter Wansel, Bunny Sigler and Kenny Gamble they made some delightful music that brings back great memories for me and I'm sure many others.

The three sisters also had the pleasure of doing background vocals for some of the biggest acts.  The list includes Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin and Lou Rawls, they also worked extensively with Diana Ross and Linda Clifford.

In 1979 they finally had their own major hit when You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else went to the Top 5 on the R&B charts and #12 on the Hot Disco Charts of U.S. Billboard.  I had the fortune of growing up with the incredible disco radio stations out of New York so songs like Nights over Egypt and Dance Turned Into a Romance are very familiar to me too.  What an under-rated trio they were.

I've provided a tasty zip of some of Shirley, Brenda and Valorie's best.  Especially since a few have been given recent edits and even remixes.  Valorie Jones is no longer with us she died in 2001 at the young age of 45.  JONES GIRLS ZIP

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Dutch band Fox the Fox are responsible for one of my favorite italo disco songs. Released in 1984 and remixed by the great Ben Liebrand. It was their only hit.  DOWNLOAD PRECIOUS LITTLE DIAMOND


A lot of disco re-makes are hokey.  This isn't one of them.  It was awfully brave to even consider doing this song over.  After all it was one of the first huge disco hits on the pop charts.  Back when the word disco was not even being used The Hues Corporation shot up to #1 with Rock the Boat.  It also charted in other countries especially the U.K. where it went Top 10.  Unfortunately it's release came just a few months before the Disco charts had even been instituted.

It was 1982 and disco wasn't exactly in vogue but the Ben Liebrand produced release out of Holland brought us right back to Studio 54.  Sung by Forrest Thomas a Texan transplanted to Holland it proved to be a disco smash taking it up to #9 on the Billboard Dance Charts in the states only 8 years after the success of the original.