Album review

Electric Dreams





Born in 1940, Giorgio Moroder's crowning innovation came late, in 1977, when he wrote/programmed Donna Summer's sequencer-driven "I Feel Love". Some might blame him for making redundant overnight a host of more subtle but less metronomic funk rhythm sections in favour of the electronic backbeat by which we still mark time today. Others, however, have Moroder to thank for the electrification of modern pop.

This even includes Kraftwerk, whose own sequencer-driven Man-Machine (1978) came out a year after Moroder's From Here To Eternity, a showcase for his repertoire of Vocoderised vocals and electro-disco patterns. Moroder, however, lacked the avant-garde sensibilities of Kraftwerk. On the cover to Eternity he looks like Charlie Higson's moustachioed disco lothario on their Euro-TV skit Channel 9.

He looks no better on 1979's E=MC², sleeves rolled up, with a Lech Walesa-like 'tache. The lyrics to both albums could have come from a random banality generator. Yet both records, the latter the first ever to be recorded 'live to digital', have an eerie, remote, mechanistic quality that's strangely thrilling, like being transported back on board Skylab. No wonder techno godfather Derrick May was a fan.

The Best Of Giorgio Moroder reveals that, back in the '60s, Moroder was an averagely dreadful Euro-pop purveyor, though he did co-write Chicory Tip's "Son Of My Father". In later years, he produced over-tanned MOR bilge like 1983's "Solitary Men" (recorded with gravelly crooner Joe Esposito), made an okay record with The Human League's Phil Oakey, and wrote the theme for the 1984 LA Olympics. Nowadays he's most proud of his work with Barbra Streisand, as if having entirely forgotten his place in electronica's historical timeline.

Rating: 4 / 10


Editor's Letter

The Fourth Uncut Playlist Of 2015

This week's big distraction has been what appears to be a crazy number of early Aphex Twin tracks accumulating on Soundcloud (I've added the link below). Among the new stuff, though, please try Bop English; the new solo project of James Petralli from White Denim.