November 17, 2006

Tantra - The Double LP

A release scooping up most, but not all, of the Italo group Tantra’s output, The Double LP revolves around two side-length epics—the A-side “Hills of Katmandu,” and the D-side “Wishbone.” I first heard the former (in truncated form) on the Idjut Boys classic Saturday Night Live, Vol. 2 mix, and if it blew me away then, it’s even more potent in its full 16-minute-plus glory. Exotica and “orientalist” touches were always a feature of Italo, and “Hills of Katmandu” deftly weaves such fare into a monster of rumbling percussion, weaving analogs, and swaying female vocals. The sweet little nugget of disco fantasia that interrupts at the 6:30 mark is both unexpected and cheesily delightful. “Wishbone,” on the other hand, is funkier and more mesmerizing—the odd female vocals are paired with echoed tribal percussion to a mystical and almost eerie effect, with a sitar-like lead making the odd appearance. It’s the mirror of “Katmandu,” but an unsettlingly purist one—making absolutely no concessions towards any but the most tripped-out of dancefloors. If I could find the crowd that would happily vibe along with me to all of its 15 glorious minutes I would never bloody leave.

Normally this would constitute a full and rewarding album, but in between these two leviathans is sandwiched another two full sides of goodness that interweaves primal and futurist elements. The B-side unveils two strong Eurodisco stompers: “Get Ready to Go,” which could’ve soundtracked any number of early 80’s prime-time buddy-cop TV shows, and “Top Shot,” a track that pushes all the gay disco buttons it can find and then digs around for some more. The C-side, on the other hand, starts with “Su-ku-leu,” a traditional African-flavored number that still kicks out on its disco heels, combining the chants and ethnic percussives with synth pops and sweeps, which blends right into “Mother Africa,” a T-Connection-esque stomper with a delicious percussion break that sets the stage for the most stereotypically “disco” of their tracks, “Hallelujah.” Side closer “Get Happy” points an arrow towards boogie, and could be a Chic b-side, with its warm syn-strings and chimes. It’s the very spirit of disco’s unabashed joyfulness, and a fine place to rest.

The Double LP is that great disco rarity—not just a classic album, but a classic double, and as such it demands a proper remix and CD release. Until then… keep those needles fresh!

Importe/12 / MP-310
[Mallory O’Donnell]


November 10, 2006

Charts: November 10 2006

Guest Chart: Mathias Schaffhauser, Ware

Ricardo Villalobos – Unflug / Good Groove & Yapacc Remix [Frisbee Tracks]
Bond & Blome – Tentacular [Sender]
Five Green Circle – Ochim EP [Meerestief]
NDKJ – Pimp / from „Put It Where You Want It EP“ [Maschine]
Oliver Koletzki – Follow Up / Kiki Remix [Stil vor Talent]
V.A. – Mobilée Remix Series Vol. 4 / Daniel Stefanik Remix [Mobilée]
Agnès – Is She He [Einmaleinsmusik]
Garnica – The Lucky Guy [Galaktika ]
And.id – Panakia EP [Ware]
Mathias Schaffhäuser vs. V.A. – RE:2 / Vinyl Selection [Multicolor]

Mallory O’Donnell
Greg Wilson - Chocolate Factor [Redux]
Alice Smith - Love Endevour (Maurice Fulton Remix) [BBE]
Sessomatto - Movin’ On (Joey Negro Remixes) [Z Records]
Tantra - The Double LP [Importe/12]
V/A - El Mejor Italo-Disco De Los 80’s [Contrasena]
Skatebård - Midnight Magic [Digitalo Enterprises]
Matt & Kim - Matt & Kim [IHEARTCOMIX]
Blowfly - Blowfly’s Disco Party [Weird World]

Michael F. Gill
Alan Banford - Delanox [F1]
Pheek - Magda Had A Little Troll ([a]pendics.shuffle remix) [Clever Music]
Freddie Mercury - Love Kills (More Order Rework By The Glimmers) [Parlophone]
John Dahlback - My Secret [Acid 80 Italy]
Jetone - Sufraise II [Apnea]
Arpanet - Event Horizon (Instrumental) [Record Makers]
Umwelt - Kiss In The Dark [Satamile Records]
Das Kraftfuttermischwerk - Monotonism [Tendenzen Freier Entfaltung]
Rekleiner - Sideways [Catwash Records]
Phase - Espresso [Ingoma]