In the beginning there wasâ€¦ the Munich Music Machine: when Giorgio Moroder entered the US billboard charts in 1977 with Donna Summers erotic epos titled, â€œI Feel Loveâ€, a new music style was born. A combination of influences from Motown & Philly Soul to German Electronica & Kraut Rock Giorgio Moroder helped shape a new sound, a sound that still can be considered as one of the blueprints for todayâ€™s electronic dance music: the bass drum & bass sound with repetitive synthesizer loops as still used in thousands of techno and house productions today.
The new sound of the Munich machine soon became mainstream, â€œSaturday Night Feverâ€œ was the last call of the kitschy hedonistic Disco before New Wave & Punk became the soundtrack of the urban Hipsters across Western Europe. Underground Disco Culture like in NYC`s THE LOFT or the PARADISE GARAGE hardly caught on in Europe. With the exception of the Northern Soul scene in the UK or Danielle BaldelliÂ´s pre-cosmic music club nights at Baia degli Angeli in Italy, dance music had to wait a couple of years for a new phoenix rising. In the early 80Â´s Disco almost became a bad word for music lovers.
However, looking back in time from todayâ€™s perspective some of it begins to make sense… When youÂ´re digging deep in the crates of late 1970Â´s Underground Disco, Kraut Electronica, Proto Techno, Euro Boogie or New Wave Funk you can find plenty of un-classics that still sound fresh today and show you the roots and influences of the likes of Metro Area, Prins Thomas and many more. Most of these titles were fairly unknown when they were released, some became almost famous, and this is what this compilation is about. Lost space Disco gems and soulful Euro Boogie, the good side of the early 80Â´s in Europe.
â€œThe Other Side of Heavenâ€œ, by Latvian Disco Rock outfit ZODIAC DISCO ALLIANCE, opens the comp; a space Disco voyage par excellence with some lovely Arp synthy parts from their 2nd album â€œMusic in the Universeâ€ that created a serious electronic music hype in the USSR. Thanks to Ilya Rasskazow in Moscow who got me in touch with these electronic music pioneers from Riga that still perform today. Russia always had a strong love for the Euro side of Disco and a couple of remarkable Electronic Disco albums were released on the national record label Meldoija for the local market only. With the drop of the Iron Curtain some of these albums flooded into the second record shops in the West: Go find!
Some of the greatest soulful Disco productions in Europe were recorded in Italy in the late 70Â´s. Before the more electronic Italiano Disco style started, some amazing US Boogie & Disco influenced tunes were recorded in the studios between Milano & Rome. SELECTIONÂ´s â€œRebel on the Runâ€ can be found on the 12â€ â€œRide the Beamâ€ and their highly sought after self titled album on Fulltime Records from 1983.
One of the best European Modern Soul songs ever, JAGG`S â€œTake Timeâ€ (Delirium Records) was recorded in the US but mostly sold in Italy. It became a certified Disco anthem published only on the typical & new media of Italyâ€™s booming Disco scene of that time, the mixed DJ LP (V.A. Danceteria; DJ Mix â€“ Faber Cucchetti, S.P.Q.R.). The popular Italian pirate radio stations promoted this sound a lot and some even managed to broadcast their program over the Alps to Bavaria were they soon acquired some dedicated listeners.
HIPPOLYTES amazing jazzy Boogie Disco cut â€œBlow You Out Tonightâ€ can be found on their Greece only distributed LP â€œDynamic funkâ€ (thanks to Black Athena for the trade!) that hardly shows up on the net, while â€œQue tal America?â€ by the Belgian duo TWO MAN SOUND is probably one of the best known Euro Disco titles ever; An instant classic at Larry Levans paradise Garage nights on the Big Apple.
The percussive instrumental â€œSundanceâ€ by German Music Professor CURT CRESS from his 1981 LP â€œAvantiâ€ sounds like a mixture between Liquid Liquid and George Kranz. Some of his tunes were included by Italian cosmic music DJ Beppe Loda in his legendary typhoon club mixtapes. These, in the cosmic music scene, highly popular mixtapes never contained a tracklisting, sometimes one had to wait & search for years to find infoâ€™s on special titles. Today Curt Cress produces mostly soundtracks in his studio near Munich.
On â€œGlÃ¼ckskugelâ€, me and my partner Marc Frank aka PANOPTIKUM pay homage to one of the most unknown pioneers of techno: Bruno SpÃ¶erri, from Switzerland, produced some groundbreaking electronic music. Andy VotelÂ´s Finders Keepers label recently re-issued some of his tunes on the album â€œGlÃ¼ckskugelâ€. The original track â€œGlÃ¼ckskugelâ€ was composed by Bruno as TV theme for the Swiss national Lottery, but as it was considered by the officials to be too hectic, thus it got rejected. Respect to the originator!.
LEB HARMONY`sÂ´s â€œFeeling Loveâ€ is one of the examples of Italiano Disco with strong influences from the sound of the Munich music machine with some beautiful lush space Disco keys. Their album â€œDisco Boogieâ€ was only released in Canada, France and Italy on the collectable Chic Records label.
â€œDonÂ´t Stay Till Breakfastâ€ is the outstanding tune on the self titled STRÃ–ER LP, a private press album on the German Flame Records label. I discovered the album some years ago in my 2nd favorite record shop in Vienna for 1 Euro; I still canÂ´t believe that â€œDonÂ´t Stay Till Breakfastâ€ was recorded back in 1978 in Munich as it sounds like the perfect blueprint for the whole Nu Jazz sound. A true lost classic. Like Curt Cress, H.P. StÃ¶er is still running a studio and became famous for producing movie scores.
ALAN HAWKSHAW is well known to all beat-headz around the globe for his late 60Â´s Mohawks productions that got sampled galore in the hip hop universe. â€œThe Speed of Soundâ€ is hailing from one of his late 70Â´s albums for the UK library label Bruton, a great sample source for all producers.
Panoptikum`s tune â€œElasteâ€, is our own little exclusive tribute to this compilation. We hope you like it.
We take it slower on the last roundâ€¦ Star Trek by the VULCANS on Trojan is a lovely moog reggae instrumental by keyboarder Ken Elliot with a very unique vintage sound, whilst TONY ALLEN & AFROBEAT 2000Â´s â€œN.E.P.A. Dance Dubâ€ sounds like a brand-new Moritz von Oswald remake straight out of the Basic Channel dub chambers in Berlin, although it was recorded way back in 1984 (12â€ on the UK Earthworks label ) btw, N.E.P.A. means â€œNever expect power alwaysâ€. Fela, I can hear you!
Finally, another classic: Rufus & Chaka KhanÂ´s â€œAinÂ´t Nobodyâ€ in the Hallucinogenic remix is one of Frankie Knuckles finest remixer moments â€“ a true end of the night anthem from 1991. A new decade has just begun. Enjoy!
01. Zodiac â€“ The Other Side Of Heaven
02. Selection â€“ Rebel On The Run
03. Jagg â€“ Take Time
04. Hippolytes â€“ Blow You Out Tonight
05. Two Man Sound â€“ Que Tal America?
06. Curt Cress â€“ Sundance
07. Panoptikum â€“ GlÃ¼ckskugel
08. LEB Harmony â€“ Feeling Love
09. StÃ¶er â€“ Donâ€™t Stay Till Breakfast
10. Alan Hawkshaw â€“ The Speed Of Sound
11. Panoptikum â€“ Elaste
12. Vulcans â€“ Star Trek
13. Tony Allen â€“ Nepa Dance Dub
14. Rufus & Chaka Khan â€“ Ainâ€™t Nobody (Halucinogenik Version)