10.9.08

D09


Two posts in two days! I'm back to my old tricks -- sort of.

I acknowledge that there was a big gap between "D07" and "D08," so I'm trying to deliver the goods that you, my trusted readers, were in want of over the past couple weeks.

Today, we look at Macho, a group fronted by the great Italian vocalist Marzio Vincenzi with his friend, Mauro Malavasi, standing in on production duties. Vincenzi was most active in the late-1970s and early-1980s, not only working on Macho efforts, but also pursuing other solo outlets like Marzio and Marsius. I can't dig up anything he did under the latter two monikers, but I'm expecting their in a similar vein. Macho's music is high-energy Italo-disco with a heavier, rockier vibe underscoring the flamboyant vocals, horns, and ultra-funky bass lines.

I really enjoy their second LP, Roll (and I'm not just saying that being of the rad cover art!): it's a confident merging of gritty, electronic dance and incredibly catchy, somewhat goofy disco. Check out a couple tunes from the record below and send me stuff by Marzio or Marsius if you've got it! I can't express how badly I want to hear that stuff!

Macho - Got To Make A Move

Macho - Montreal

Buy it at Insound!

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D08


I was not aware of this, but Thomas Bangalter's father was a disco producer in the 1970s and 1980s, most notoriously working the boards for Ottawan, a dance duo comprised of Daniel Vangarde and Jean Kluger. (He also did a lot of work with the Gibson Brothers, but I could honestly care less about that, no offense.)

Back then, Daniel Bangalter went by Daniel Vangarde and did production for a smallish but powerful and impressive selection of disco innovators. The stuff by Ottawan is particularly fun ... all the jams are driven by heavy, sultry, especially hip-shaking bass lines, and touched up with very generous servings of world music rhythms, wacky electronic doodles, and Latin melodies. For disco, this stuff is ... unique.

While the lyrics tend to either be slightly bland/goofy or repetitious, they do a great job of sticking in your head, and I suppose that's all you need for a good pop tune.

Check out an assortment of their singles below ... it's super enjoyable, and it definitely sheds some light on where Thomas Bangalter derives his tastes. Where the heck did this stuff come from and why isn't there more of it!?

Ottawan - D.I.S.C.O.

Ottawan - Hello Rio

Ottawan - Shalala Song

Buy it at Insound!

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5.9.08

D07


I wrote about Cerrone's early band, Kongas, last time, but failed to really talk up his band made Don Ray. Ray (born Raymond Donnez) wasn't involved with a whole lot outside of Kongas, but he did do some interesting stuff without Cerrone's involvement ... namely Sumeria.

Sumeria was Ray and Alec R. Costandinos, one of the most notorious and prolific disco artists of the 1970s. The duo only put out one 7", one 12", and LP (linear logic, right?), but covered a whole mess of bases with the handful of tracks they dropped.

Here're a couple tunes from the 1977 album Golden Tears. Italo-disco cuts are all at once super easy to get the gist of and incredibly difficult to distill into formulas or trends. Sumeria is no exception: this stuff sounds discoy, but ... there's an artfulness and skillfulness to it that's unusual. Boogie.

Sumeria - Cosmic Traveler

Sumeria - Golden Tears

Buy it at Insound!

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