I've been on a roll here, right? It's been a while, but hey, it's difficult to one-up the past thirteen posts when you think they're going so well! (Or I could just say I've been way too busy with work at Anthem.)
Anyway -- Azoto is the flavor of the day. We're going straight to Italy for our Italo-disco ... not Canada or Brazil or elsewhere. Azoto was the creation of Celso Valli, the guy behind Macho and a whole pile of other groups, both obscure and more mainstream.
Valli is interesting in that he came from a more orchestral background (as did many producers and disco innovators of the 1970s). In the 1960s, he studied music in a more classical manner and found himself directing an orchestra of some sort at the Conservatory while still a teenager.
Then disco hit, and Valli changed his tune. His Azoto work is particularly noteworthy for its insatiable whimsy and fluid funkiness. The below three songs are all testament to this. In chronological order, we've got "Zorba's Dance," a shorter jam from 1978's Music Makers Ltd. (the record that also bizarrely included an outrageous recreation of "Havah Nagilah"), "It's the Way" from 1978's Dance Skinsation (which was actually released under the alias Lucrethia and the Azoto 14,008), and "San Salvador" from 1980's Disco Fizz.
Listen to them all and you'll fully understand the beauty of Valli's creations. They're totally free of pretention and loaded with almost goofy, excessively flamboyant rhythms, horn arrangements, string washes, and elastic bass lines.
Bonus points to whoever can tell me what that harmony is in "Zorba's Dance."
I'm tempted to write on here because Valli was a pretty amazing dude and was involved in a tremendous number of projects, but time is flying by, and I've got to get moving. Next time!
Azoto - Zorba's Dance
Lucrethia and the Azoto 14,008 - It's the Way
Azoto - San Salvador