Some oddity odysseys to trip on
Imagine Klaus Nomi's more butch and less robotic brother riding the peaks and valleys of a Giorgio Moroder blip roller coaster, and you have a glimpse of the personality of this EP by Bernard Fevre, who sure looks cute in the (circa late '70s?) photo foldout within its shiny black jewel box. Was all of 28 After recorded 28 years ago, when Fevre was influencing what would become acid house, or was it spruced up recently? Whatever the answer, its six tracks are a treat. "I regret the flower power," the Parisian Fevre claims in the chorus of one song, but he shouldn't regret the disco in its wake.
Even though it has one of the tag's two words in its title, I'm not sure this shy singer's gorgeous album qualifies as space disco. It could just as easily be deemed classic synth pop, with an emphasis on classic which means something, considering how synthy and poppy it is from start to finish. Fans of St. Etienne and Annie should run out and buy it before they've finished reading this sentence. Everyone else should give one listen to writer-producer Johan Agebjörn's "I Know" and see if it's possible to resist the song's charms, which are as immense as Shapiro's voice is petite. Early contender for album of the year.
Gotta love the floating toothy black-lipsticked mouths on the high-gloss cover of this album by Annie's roommate, Baard Lødemel. The title of "Holidays on Ice in Space" shows the Bergen, Norway, producer has a sense of camp humor, while the hovering sound of "Caravan" suggests that he's Aphex Twin's glitter ballloving other half. Another highlight is "Boyvox," on which the vox in question is breathy. A word (via the liner notes) from the man himself: "This record is best experienced on a portable music player, or an evening walk in your nearest forest or park."
Italo disco is space disco's illegitimate, polysexual parent. Disc one of this two-disc tribute to a top label largely showcases drag-ready originals such as N.O.I.A.'s "True Love" and Fawzia's "Please Don't Be Sad," though Radio Slave makes an excellent, shuddering cameo. The overall peak has to be Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas's rock-powered remix of Answering Service's "Call Me Mr. Telephone" on disc two. It adds a new bass line, guitar hook, and keyboard phrasing that rise in tension John Carpenterstyle. It also condenses and enhances the best bits from the track's female vocal, which plays like some modern Italian misunderstanding of "Please Mr. Postman." Viva Italo disco.
Metro Area, Kelley Polar Quartet. (Huston)