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Elaste - Vol. 2: Space Disco - Compiled & Mixed by Tom Wieland (7 Samurai, Panoptikum) by Various

Tom Wieland (7 Samurai, Panoptikum) compiled and remixed these old and recent disco tunes while tracing the genre’s inauguration back to Donna Summer’s 1977 hit "I Feel Love." It’s been lambasted by the music elite for years. However, it served as the precursor to todays more advanced and artistically stylish, electronica-based dance music.

These tracks by various European artists provide a variable glimpse into this much-maligned musical form. I for one admit to being rather disco-challenged. Yet the artists Wieland highlights signify much of what was happening in Europe back in the 70s and 80s amid his clever remixing along the way.

Wieland cites in the annotations that Russia always sported a fondness for disco and also notes how other musical forms such as R&B and soul music served as underpinnings for many of the artist and bands presented here. Otherwise, many of these select tracks convey a solid groove idiom, where analog synth lines are often integrated with phased EFX and the requisite vocalizations. In effect, the music highlighted on this disc offers a hybrid, retro-modernist type characterization.

Leb Harmony’s piece titled "Feeling Love," signifies what Wieland refers to as "The Munich Scene," featuring weepy, synth-flute lines that provide a memorable hook atop a frothy ostinato dance beat. On a side note, a few of these artists integrate contemporary-jazz parameters into their arsenal.

One of the more interesting works is "Vulcans" "Star Trek," which is a piece constructed on a spacey dub metric. Overall, this outing looms as a curiously interesting testimonial to the rather microcosmic bands that injected a personalized sound and style into a pop phenomenon that evolved into a more sophisticated methodology.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various
  • CD Title: Elaste - Vol. 2: Space Disco - Compiled & Mixed by Tom Wieland (7 Samurai, Panoptikum)
  • Genre: Electronica
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Compost
  • Rating: Three Stars
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