Boomkat Product Review:
Outstanding first-ever survey of early ‘90s productions by the DJs-turned-producers who helmed Italy’s famous Afro/Cosmic sound of the ‘80s
At the point when original ‘70s disco and its Italo offshoot became mainstream popular in Italy and the rest of Europe circa at the early ‘80s, a number of Northern Italian DJs were playing a much slower (95-110bpm, as opposed to 125-130bpm), sophisticated blend of emergent electronic music from Britain and Germany alongside rare African and Brazilian grooves. They forged a style that became known as “Afro” or “Cosmic” which would be played in discotheques and sold on mixtapes from boots in the disco’s car parks. While this style would fade away in the ‘90s to be replaced by trance and prog house, there was a strange crossover period between the late ‘80s and early-mid ‘90s when the style’s instigators started producing records that sounded like their sets, even playing the nascent trance and house at 33rpm, not the intended 45rpm, just as they did originally. This compilation takes a long overdue dive into this gooch of disco history and comes up with eight total pearls.
Mirroring Belgian new beat’s transition from synth-pop/slowed EBM/House into its full form as much as the current style of Vladimir Ivkovic - itself borne in Belgrade, almost in echoing distance of the Italians - the eight tracks of ’Studiolo’ offer a embarrassment of riches for any self-respecting chug fiend or slow mo night slugs. They weave a silvery trail from the humid heave of Lazy’gal’s edit of Fred DJ and Boran DJ’s ‘Cosmic Patch’ to the very New Beat compatible budge of ‘Ethno Beat’ by African Project, and the masterful cosmic buoyancy of Mamakuta’s ‘Tanatwina’ on the first disc. Meanwhile on disc 2, Claudio Diva takes it up to a reckless 115bpm in ‘Funky Nephos’, and DJ Fred, DJ Otti and Jay Pee slay with the hypnotic ‘Indien Summer’, leaving Innsbruck, Austria’s DJ Egger to display how he mutated sounds he heard on holiday in Rimini with the heavyweight cruiser ‘Cosmic Esmeralda’, and Ygal Ohayon nails the super stylish vibe with the viscous slow trance of ‘Sonar (Virtual Version - Low Gravity Edit)’.