Based in Bologna, where radicals, artists, glam rockers, and hippies all coexisted in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Italian Records was the first label in the country to release music by such weirdo smartbombs as Tuxedomoon, DNA, Lydia Lunch and Throbbing Gristle. More importantly, it was as an incubator for a crazy new dance music that came to be called Italo-disco. Populist like disco but underground, curious, and infused with the spirit of punk and early new wave, Italo-disco influenced many, including Detroit techno DJs such as Derrick May and Carl Craig. Confuzed Disco revisits those heady days of Italo-disco's highpoint, with two discs and a color poster reproducing the original singles' sleeve art. Musically there are some real gems here by artists like A.I.M., N.O.I.A., and Answering Service even if the names are obscure, the feel is one of kitchen sink experimentation. Confuzed also includes remixes by contemporary producers such as Kiki, Radio Slave, and Metro Area's Morgan Geist, artists with a similar sense of play in their music. While disc one features original, unmixed tracks, the second set is a continuous 79-minute flow that approximates the sweaty, blurry pink neon fun of an early 1980s dance floor.
Walter Wasacz writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].