Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Confuzed Disco

Front cover“This is fucked up.  Change it.  Now.”  about sums up centuries of protest by university students who have never been shy about expressing their dissatisfaction with the status quo.  In the late 1970’s the University of Bologna, Europe’s oldest, was once again in political turmoil.  That  turmoil spilled over into dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in the musical world the students inhabited.  Fueled in part by the American-born “Disco sucks” phenomenon and in part by Punk’s rejection of everything that wasn’t Punk, dance and rock music lived in ideologically divided warring camps.  The students in Bologna said “This is fucked up” and began to bridge the gap.

Confuzed Disco is a two disc set that presents tracks released by Bologna-based Italian Records between 1978 and 1982.  The first disc contains the original tracks, the second, modern remixes.  Some of the remixes on disc two are from the originals on disc one and some aren’t.  This is a nice approach because it lets you hear some tunes in both original and modern versions while also giving you a wider taste of the range of Italian Records’ releases via the mixes of unheard originals.  Although the instrumentation and vocal styles clearly date some of the originals as disco circa 1980, both discs sound surprisingly modern.  In large part this is due to the “disco” part of the disco-rock hybrid that was emerging at this time being heavily indebted to Italo Disco which was itself a hybrid of Kraftwerk-style electronic music with the melodically oriented song structures of American disco.  It’s the electronica influence that makes the originals sound more modern than would a sampling of American disco taken from the same period.  The combination of dance and rock music in the original tracks was probably more striking to contemporary ears than it is today.  To modern ears the originals sound a lot more dance than rock while the remixes aren’t as concerned with the dance-rock hybridization.  If you like dance music or electronica that emphasizes groove over effects, you’ll  find this an enjoyable collection.  If you hate all things disco or get irrevocably turned off by the occasional cheesy synth, best to stay away.

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01/15/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

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