This record combines 2 of my favorite music forces: Belgium's Eskimo Recordings (home of the Glimmer Twins) and Ivan Smagghe (Black Strobe, Volga Select, Clashcorner).
Eskimo has put out great compilations mixed by Glimmer Twins. Some say that Soulwax picked up a few tricks from the Eskimo comps.
Ivan Smagghe has laid some monsters on us with the Me & Madonna and Innerstrings singles, and the 'Hard' compilation.
'Ivan Smagghe presents Death Disco' is not an 80s comp or a disco comp - it is just the name he chose for this collection. Some of the stuff is a bit old, some is new, but none were chosen for that - everything was chosen as pieces in a puzzle put together just for Eskimo.
Most of the tracks are vocal pieces. I only knew 2 of them before. Kiki Luv Sikk was a strong 12inch on Bpitch Control. I always confuse Luv Sikk with a Savas Pascadilis track. The Chicken Lips remix of We Don't Play Guitars was a real treat on the COS 12inch it came from. Both tracks are welcome on this record too.
I really love the opening track Way Out. It reminds me a little of the Martin Atkins project Brian Brain from the 80s. Martin Atkins was the drummer of PIL. If you listen parts of the music sound very much like Autobahn by Kraftwerk. This is a legit krautrock track from the past, so maybe it was parallel evolution.
I also like the sixth track TV Night . I was all over the Planet Claire connection before I read it in Ivan's liner notes (reprinted with the track listing), but I don't just like the cut for using that riff. It has this super solid beat and lots of ideas in it.
Stop is my favorite instrumental on the disc (though all are good!). I too like italo disco, and don't even mind the cheesy parts which were removed for this one. I guess it is an artifact of my hair metal days...
Finally, the killer closing track Breakout which is the one I would play for anyone I wanted to turn this disc onto. It reminds me of the London band Spektrum, and (like them) is ace as spades!
I'd say but it folks.
Track listing with comments by Ivan Smagghe
- The House Of Fix Feat. Circa - Way Out
This is so unlikely for Tresor; I had not bought a record on this label for years and the guys at Freebase in Frankfurt dug it out for me. There are not many shops like this one anymore...a totally out of space krautrock track that deserves a second life.
- Ralphi Rosario - This Night (The Gus Gus Remix)
One of these old school records that still sounds fresh even in these days of senseless acid revival. the vocal is really different, the music is camp.
- Sweet Exorcist - Test Four (Blackstrobe Live Edit)
Early Warp stuff has always been a major influence on Blackstrobe. Cold industrial dance music. so simple it hurts.
- Steve D - Monochromatic (Technoclash Mix)
This is French, recent, and I don't know anything about it. For me, its a really good ecstasy record. Call me dark, but I don't really like being uplifted. In a word, 'romantic'...
- Paul Rutherford - Get Real (Happy House Mix)
I've always wanted to put this on a compilation but never managed to. People who own and play this record out are like a secret club (L. Solomon, M. Passarini...). Dramatic and naive at the same time, this anthem (yes) by the guy who did not do anything in Frankie Goes To Hollywood has never left my box since I got it years ago.
- Raymond Barry - TV Night (Elektrodub Version)
One of my biggest records of 2003. The Italian team behind Party One made this. It rips off quite badly the B52's Planete Claire but that's not the point. The point is that the best records are always borderline. This slightly crosses the cheese line, wow, even better.
- BWH - Stop (Nathan Wilkins & Midnight Mike Edit)
Nathan is a good friend of mine, with a slight obsession for italo disco. They got rid of the vocal and the corny parts (there's always an annoying bit in a proper italo record).
- The Vandenplas - Let's Stop Marx
B-side to a summer Ibiza hit. They got it wrong again because this one is the balearic one.
- Dub Pistols - Six Million Ways To Live (Paul Daley Six Mil Ver.)
I heard it played by Keith from optimo (who happens to be one of my fave djs). Daley manages to make a dancefloor monster that is 100 bpm, is heavy as hell, and draws reggae and cold wave influences. Hats down.
- Kiki - Luv Sikk
If I had to choose one record to sum 'kill-the-dj' up, my night at Pulp in Paris, this would be it. But it works anywhere, anytime.
- Chicks On Speed - We Don't Play Guitars (Chicken Lips Dub)
Chicks On Speed have been quite big for my recently. This is quite a weird one though, really really spaced out... it just fitted in I suppose...
- Quarks - I Walk (Superpitcher Schaffel Mix)
That whole 'schaffel' thing bored me a little bit. This one is just a very good electronic blues rock track, and people actually sign to it in a club.
- Drinking Electricity - Breakout (Tiga Edit)
When I heard Tiga play this unheard of punk funk (sorry could not find a better adjective) last record, it obviously stuck to my mind.