Artist: Alexander Robotnick
Title: Kind of Disco: Simple Music Vol 2
Label: Hot Elephant Music
Cat. #: HEM2301
Release Date: 24th March 2023
Hot on the heels of the first volume of ‘Simple Music’ in December, Alexander Robotnick is back with a second. This time subtitled ‘Kind of Disco’, the eight tracks again draw on the Italian’s long musical career to serve up emotive, effective tunes that work in any setting.
The man born Maurizio Dami has been a key part of the European underground since the 80s. He was there shaping the early disco scene with enduring classics like ‘Problèmes D’amour’ and is still an artist with a fresh, characterful sound many decades later. He’s at home on labels like Permanent Vacation, Clone, Bordello a Parigi and Bosconi Records and continues to cook up real magic with his array of hardware machines. This is his ninth studio album and is a result of him not finding the music he wants to hear when he goes digging.
The collection opens with ‘Green Past (vocal version),’ which is a development of a track of his, released by Bosconi Records. The lyrics are all new and the main theme is about a rendezvous as the cosmic chords and dusty drums chug below. ‘And Here It Comes Again’ (vocal version) was also previously released by Bosconi and is a standout Italo-disco rework. It has proud 80’s themes with big riffs and infectious drum machine rhythms. The superb ‘Intergalactic Travel’ is a hypnotic track with an ever-changing harmony progression and a breakdown with lyrics that revolve around the impossibility of reaching other planets. The twinkling melodies encourage you to daydream then ‘Arpico’ – which takes its name from a department store in Sri Lanka – is based around another lush arpeggio that pans about the mix as crisp, snappy drums and breathless vocals add a sensuous feel.
‘The World is Dark’ is a deeper groove with lush ambient pads, a proto-house groove, and keys that rain down from above. A darker bassline means the mood swings from hope to pessimism. ‘A Blow To The Heart,’ produced in collaboration with Ludus Pinsky, is an analogue cosmic disco adventure full of echo and with a touch of painful nostalgia. ‘Canzone Triste’ is Alexander making an Italo-disco track “but the music that came out was too sad so I added my voice warning ‘Canzone Triste’ which translates as ‘sad song’.” ‘Le Carillon’ is built around another signature arpeggio that follows the harmonic progression and has Alexander singing in French. It’s a beautifully bittersweet closer.
This is another collection of ageless tracks that brim with original melodies and catchy grooves from this venerated veteran.
01 Alexander Robotnick – Green Past (Vocal Version)
02 Alexander Robotnick – And Here It Comes Again (Vocal Version)
03 Alexander Robotnick – Intergalactic Travel
04 Alexander Robotnick – Arpico
05 Alexander Robotnick – The World Is Dark
06 Alexander Robotnick – A Blow To The Heart Feat. Ludus Pinsky
07 Alexander Robotnick – Canzone Triste
08 Alexander Robotnick – Le Carillon