Cosmic backlash - Page 2

Is space no longer the place for neo-disco?

"Closer to Forever" is exquisite, and "Jetlag" is a slab of montage funk that could make Harold Faltermeyer jealous and even get David Hasselhoff to stop eating burgers off the floor.

If neo-disco and its cosmic substrata are courting a backlash the size of Paul Lekakis' glutes, it's because of an onslaught of opportunistic comps with "space" or "disco" in their titles. Especially when placed in close proximity to one another, those words — along with "Balearic" — are surefire groan inducers. Yet there are always a few exceptions to the rule. One is Cosmic Disco?! Cosmic Rock!!! (Eskimo), a mix co-created by the man who invented cosmic disco, Italian DJ Daniele Baldelli. While it doesn't approach the euphoria of Baldelli's 2007 Baia degli Angeli mixes, its strictly '80s sources — further proof that neo-disco is new romantic — include some eccentric pleasures, especially "Ulster Defense," perhaps the world's first and only pro-IRA dancefloor anthem.

Likewise, Alexis Le Tan and Jess' Space Oddities (Permanent Vacation) transcends a generic title through a combo of irreverence and dedication that's as rare as any of the European library grooves it rediscovers. The bloodless boogie of a track titled "Cloning" is hypnotic. Better still is "Black Safari," an electronic answer to Moondog's jungle-sound freakout "Big Cat." If a 1977 disco track can cast its net wide enough to capture Moondog and roaring elephants and growling tigers, then surely a 2008 neo-disco track can find a sense of humor within its vast cosmic — or retro-homo — space. In fact, that's exactly what 21st century disco will require to escape the hipster equivalent of a stadium bonfire. *

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