“I drive without emotion. I calculate each curve. I know that I will soon be the hero in the Grand Prix.” With Albert One’s lyrics ringing in their ears, steeling their nerves, a new generation of high-octane fuelled drivers fix their headphones and helmets. Formula One, the partnership of DJ Rocca and Aimes, rev their synth engines with the glinting ‘Digits’ and Racing 3000 is underway. The duo has some welcome surprises on-board, the spirited vocals of Fred Ventura for ‘Into My Life’ and the emotion-injected words of Hard Ton for ‘Step By Step’. Exhaust pipes flare and we’re cruising into the chicane of the title piece. Daring synthwork and lush notes are propelled forward by clean percussion as cheering faces flash by. An extended pit-stop is called. ‘Cocktail Time’. Caribbean cool and Latin rhythms are the tone set. Glasses clink and the barroom baritone gives voice to a world of electronic disco lounge. The tempo changes as darkness falls and Francesca Bono sings us a late-night love lament streaked in neon hope. No time for regret. Back behind the wheel and arpeggios rumble as ‘Turbo Slam’ glides from the city and back to the track. The chequered flag is in sight. Formula Uno are set for ‘Home’ as they shift into vocoders for a bright and free finish.
Acid techno experiments from the Italo disco master with Alessandro Adriani extended rework of Technologies.
With just a few days from the current year left, I’ve compiled a list of 20 albums from 2018 that I enjoyed this year. Among these I have to highlight the much anticipated Mutant Beat Dance debut album, the first ever album from Gerard Hanson under the E.R.P. project, a new Gerald Donald project and a compilation of unreleased Heinrich Mueller remixes, a Silent Servant follow-up on Hospital Productions, a very interesting Fred Ventura compilation of unreleased house tracks, a new Lebanon Hanover, the beautiful debut album of Curses, the impressive Eindkrak album and the debut album of the Romanian producer Șerb.
The list is compiled in chronological order.
Eindkrak – Brullend Staal [Unknown Precept]
A new Italo Disco production based on an old musical sketch by Fred Ventura. Rediscovered on a cassette from 1984.
A journey into the past and the future of Italo Disco music through the stories of the original 80’s heroes and cult DJs and the voice of the new generation of artists, radio broadcasters and fans ready to carry on the Italo Disco Legacy.
Conceived along the space of a few years and part of a big collection of unfinished experiments stored on cassette tapes, this eight tracks selection well represents Fred Ventura’s late 80s and early 90s infatuation with Chicago House, Detroit Techno, early Warp records and even a secret passion for EBM. Using a basic set up made of Roland Juno 106, Roland JX-8p, Oberheim DX, Roland TR909 and an Akai sampler, these tracks were never officially mixed and meant to be released until today. Minimal and hypnotic, dry and direct, both sides of the record show an instinctive approach to rhythms and basslines, typical of those days where computer didn’t have a predominant role in the creative process.
Ali Renault lands on Bordello A Parigi with a four tracker of leftfield electro pop. ‘Altro Mondo’ screams out of the traps, bulbous bass lines elbow sweetened chords and snapping beats. ‘Fume’ grows from the same soil. Analogue warmth is brushed, even bruised, by the crack and whip of rhythms; a touch of EBM bitterness blended with Italo hope. Nowhere is this more evident than in…’Nowhere’, a buckled dancefloor romp with the king of Milano, Fred Ventura, offering vocals. Uabos maintains the tension for the finale, uplifting house currents coursing through his remix of ‘Lenticular’.
Two generations of Italian music history come together on this split 7inch. Milan meets Rome, Fred Ventura meets Alessandro Adriani. For this occasion Adriani and Ventura covered the 1982 evergreen ‘Changing’ by Bill Bruce. The perfect combination to pay homage to this monumental piece of music. On the flip side Fred’s early 80’s new wave band State Of Art got the remix treatment by Alessandro’s moniker Newclear Waves. Another unique match of these two key figures preserving the 80’s underground sound of Italy.
Fonogrammi Particolari is a new record label based in Milan whose main goal is to reissue old school Italo classics in their original form but backed with brand new edits and remixes. The first issue is this essential cover version of Material’s noisy disco classic Take A Chance’ made popular by Mr. Flagio and originally released in 1983 by the Squish label. This cult track appears on the A side in its original form and on the B side in re-edited and reworked form by Fred Ventura and Paolo Gozzetti aka Italoconnection. Enjoy the old and new sound of Mr. Flagio!
Official 2015 reissue of the 1985 Italo-Disco classic. Including the Originals Versions plus 2015 Flemming Dalum and Italoconnection Re-edits.
Disco Modernism presents the imminent release of the 30th anniversary remix project of the most successful Fred Ventura single to date. Originally produced by godfathers of Italo disco Turatti and Chieregato and released on Gong records at the end of november 1984, this extremely limited deluxe gatefold package contains an amazing array of finely crafted remixes from amazing talents from across the globe.
Sixth release by Disco Modernism Records, Milan. “Don’t Give Up” is a brand new collaboration between Fred Ventura and dutch maestro Alden Tyrell featuring Original version, Italo Connection and Flemming Dalum remixes.
Machinegewehr’s debut release with the gorgeous vocals of Gees Voorhees. Elitechnique delivers a very nice remix to complete the A side. On the flipside we have the golden combination of A Visitor From Another Meaning (aka Alden Tyrell) and the legendary Fred Ventura with a rework on the lyrics and the beat.
One of the UK’s most endearing electro stalwarts presents his debut solo album after nearly ten years of operations. All that experience has been funnelled into his eponymous LP, a sexy, melancholic crush of Italo, Electro, Synth-pop and disco bearing vocals from none other than Fred “The Voice Of Italo” Ventura and Marika Gauci of Hotel Motel. Marika opens the account on a Freestylin’ Electro ace ‘Snowdrift’, while ‘Mont Chaberton’ is pure Euro-synth romance, and the likes of ‘Zombie Raffle’ and ‘Pagan Run’ put his sleazy spin on fat-bottomed slow disco. ‘Fade Away’ features a typically cool vocal from Fred Ventura on some kinda savant-electro-boogie rhythm, but we’d have to say our favourite is the humid Italo/EBM throbber ‘Flies a Kungan’. Lovers of phat, raw, analog electro need to check this album instantly.
Italians Do It Better release four Fred Ventura classic tracks. Side One The Years (Go By) (1984), The Years (Instrumental) (1984), Side Two You Want Me (1986), Don’t Give Up (1987 ).
Fred Ventura is not only famous for the great hits he released under his own name. His voice could also be heard on many classic Italo Disco gems. This EP contains four of his best ”Undercover”-tracks, previously released as Fockewulf 190, Myxoma and Flexx.
Aube Records with a new retro futuristic italo ft the unstoppable Fred Ventura!
Teaming up with long time buddy Fred Ventura, Sfera Celeste Project combines the melancholy of vintage Italo disco with the black funk of Man Parrish and the mysterious atmosphere that good new wave used to have. These guys come in the tradition of the earliest electronic dance music and show their love for man and machine.
New label Danny Was A Drag King and the first release from Ajello featuring Fred Ventura vocals. Nostalgic Italo disco with remixes by Ali Renault, Crimea X and King Of Basia.