Various Artists – Italians Do It Better, After Dark

Derek Walmsley

By Derek Walmsley

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

After Dark

Various Artists - Italians Do It Better

Rather than ploughing the kind of deep, physical grooves of New York disco, early '80s dance music from Europe aimed at heavenly orbits, pushing into outer space with sequencers and synths in tow. Unlike much electronic music, Italo Disco, as the style came to be known, has retained a lustrous sheen undimmed by the years. The Jersey-based Italians Do It Better label is clearly besotted, referencing the style in their moniker and the imitation vinyl crackle and studiously offhand, aloof vocals of their disco revivalist productions.

The first compilation from 2007′s most talked about dance music label.

After Dark compiles many of the labels 'most dazzlingly elegiac moments, both Italo tracks and other oddball spins on '80s disco, leaning heavily on the production of Johnny Jewel (he works the boards behind Farah and Glass Candy's Ida No, and makes up one-third of Chromatics). And while the highlights most notably include a raft of covers (Indeep's "Last Nite a DJ Saved My Life," Belle Epoque's "Miss Brodway," Kraftwerk's "Computer World"), when the beats are this supple and the strings this sensuous, the retro style of the material here is immaterial: After Dark's contemporary take on a vintage sound has a detached, decadent romanticism whose sonic elegance is almost ageless.