P-Funk, Folk, Psycho Rock and Roll. Drums poetry and all that Jazz. Italian pop. A New Orleans strut. A tongue in-cheek tribute to MJ`s Billy Jean. Sexy stripped back Bleep House and Soul. Sunshine Latin, Cod Reggae and Skanking Rock. All dance side-by-side with theremin-driven Cold Wave, Earth Mother magic, and master percussionists. Italian journalist, Christian Zingales, demonstrates his eclectic taste and considerable musical knowledge.
Words & Music by Christian Zingales
ERYKAH BADU / Amerykahn Promise
Roy Ayers gave his 1977 Ramp original track The American Promise to Erykah Badu to work it for the opening of her 2007 New Amerykah: Part One (4th World War), and if the original was perfect yet, the result is a kind of 3D version with P-Funk voices and dialogue over it. American promises are always the same…
MARTIN REV / Sophie Eagle
From the shock of Frankie Teardrop on that incredible ’77 debut to the last album American Supreme in 2002, Suicide, with an icon like Alan Vega, were master narrators of those “American promises”. Musically Martin Rev as solo artist is dope. You`ll find his Doo-Wop roots on albums like See Me Ridin’ or a sonic funeral in memory of his beloved wife, Angel Mari, on Stigmata, and then stuff like this Sophie Eagle track, from Les Nymphes: trashy druggy beats in the best plastic form and with the biggest street credibility.
LE VOLUME COURBE / Hanging Around
French London-based artist Charlotte Marionneau made a couple of albums with lot of attitude. I Killed My Best Friend in 2005 and I Wish Dee Dee Ramone Was Here With Me in 2015. Great collaborations on them too. People like Kevin Shields, Andrew Innes, Martin Duffy, Hope Sandoval, Keith Tenniswood. This is a little sketch from the first.
DAVID BOWIE / To Be Love
Soon after Bowie’s death Huffington Post published an interview with one time producer Ron de Strulle, and made available for download an unreleased Bowie song recorded with him in 1970 at Roxbury Road Studios in Los Angeles. There isn’t much information about de Strulle, and speculations about this (true or fake) are open. But the song, with a delicious Psyche-Pop vibe, would be a gem even outside the Bowie mythology.
STERLING ROSWELL / Tripmaker
Sterling Roswell aka Rosco is a true believer. He was the Spacemen 3 drummer for some time. After that he joined Darkside and then did a couple of solo albums, The Psychedelik Ubik in 2004 and Call Of The Cosmos in 2014, two space-pop beauties. Tripmaker is a rocky number from the second.
PAOLO CONTE / Black Rhino
Paolo Conte is an italian master, his songs are very unique. Deep, with a lot of influences from old Jazz to Latin to Ravel. His lyrics a sophisticated puzzle of words that can be sensual, humorous, elegant, sad, with an imaginary radiated in the 20th century. This is a bomb. A song he recently gave to an animals-themed CD for children, Scalatori di orizzonti, that was only available on the Italian newsstands.
ENZO CARELLA / Malamore
Sadly Enzo Carella died a few months ago. He was an outsider in Italy. With a series of albums late ‘70s / early ’80s done with the very first lyrics by avantgarde poet, Pasquale Panella – who later went to write words for Lucio Battisti. Carella was a great talent musically. Creating gorgeous and funny Pop songs with a melodic and deep vibe. Like this classic Malamore.
TONI ESPOSITO / L’alba nei quartieri
Toni Esposito is one of the masters of the Neapolitan sound. A sublime percussionist who was part of the legendary Pino Daniele`s backing band in late ‘70s / early ‘80s – together with Tullio De Piscopo, James Senese, Rino Zurzolo, and Ernesto Vitolo. As a solo artist he had Cosmic anthems like Pagaja in ’82 or Pop-Dance hits like Kalimba De Luna in ‘84 and before this a series of ‘70s albums of really deep Jazz-Rock-Folk fusion. This one is from his ’76 album Processione Sul Mare and mixes crazy percussion with the sounds of the street markets in Napoli.
THE METERS / Cissy Strut
Classic Meters. No more words needed.
FRISK THE FROG / Rap’n’Roll
I think Maurizio Marsico is a genius. His productions in the early 1980s moved from avantgarde electronic sketches to underground / poppy dance singles. I recently had the honour to work on a compilation of these singles, The Sunny Side Of The Dark Side for Spittle Records, and Rap’n’Roll as Frisk The Frog is one of the diamonds on it. A hilarious piece of mutant Disco from 1983. Produced with sonic majesty and rapped by Maurizio with that crooner / serial killer vibe. Kind of parody but so authentic. A crazy track, with a crazy video, and a comicstrip version by Massimo Mattioli that was published at the same time by cult Italian magazine Frigidaire.
MOODYMANN / Hangover
KDJ is the master of that tracky ultradeep blackness but he showed us the full picture with some stellar crossover Funk / Pop songs like Freeki Muthafucka or his Moodymann CD from 2014. This came out after that album and it’s insane. Basically a remix of a song by UK singer Charlotte OC, that he takes and pushes on a rollercoaster.
OSUNLADE / What Gets You High
Osunlade has class and great spirituality to offer in his music. But he is another freak producer and you don’t know what to expect from him. As with this hallucinogenic Brazilian lullaby. Kind of Bossa on angel dust with a helium / Funk voice that really gets you high.
ALBERTO CAMERINI / Pane quotidiano
An artist who was born in San Paolo, Brazil, but returned to his father`s home town, Milan in the late ’60s. Camerini was one of Italy`s greatest guitarists. From 1976 to 1978 he made three genius albums for Italian cult indie label Cramps Records. Cramps was managed by Gianni Sassi, a situationist with a background in the Fluxus movement. Camerini then became a popstar in the early ‘80s wearing the suit of “electronic harlequin”, with a series of albums and hits in a crazy Synth-Pop-Rock style. This is from his first album for Cramps in ’76, Cenerentola E Il Pane Quotidiano. A mind-blowing record that goes from his Brazilian roots – as in this song – to killer Milanese style urban Rock Funkers and Proto-Rap.
EUGENIO FINARDI / La C.I.A.
Eugenio Finardi in the ‘70s was another star of Cramps Records, and the greatest Italian rocker. Born to an Italian father and American mother, he sometimes used English in his songs. La C.I.A. mixes English and Italian and is a bomb from his classic Sugo album from 1976. This recently came out as a box containing all five of his Cramps albums remastered.
CHRISMA / Thank You
Maurizio Arcieri in the ‘60s was the singer with beat band New Dada. In 1973 he released the solo proggy album Transparenze and then in 1976 formed the duo, Chrisma, with his wife Christina Moser. Chrisma – who would become Krisma – began with some Soft Rock / disco singles but in 1977 transformed into this massive New-Wave / Electronic machine with the great Chinese Restaurant album. Recorded between London and Milan and produced by Niko Papathanassiou, brother of Evangelos Papathanassiou aka Vangelis.
MALIKA B AND DAVE HUCKER / Injection Of Blackness
A lush spoken-word track where water provides the beats. It originally came out in 1994 but now is available again on a great compilation by Gabriele Poso, The Languages Of Tambores on BBE.
SAMO DJ & PEDRODOLLAR / Track 1
From a Born Free 12”. This is a brilliant re-edit of Angelo & Eighteen Flight 2. Raw.