The Green, White and Red of Dark Entries

After a range of releases in 2014 Josh Cheon is increasing Spaghetti Dance output of his pioneering imprint with not one but three reissues from the age of Cellophane and Xenon.

I wrote recently about the proliferation of Italo Disco through the American West Coast. This spread is expanding from two hubs, Medical Records in Seattle and Dark Entries in San Francisco. The Californian imprint has enjoyed productivity that would make a rising Asian economic power blush. After a range of releases in 2014 Josh Cheon is increasing Spaghetti Dance output of his pioneering imprint with not one but three reissues from the age of Cellophane and Xenon.

The Rago and Farina produced Peter Richard is a surprise re-release for me. Not due to the quality of Mr Richard’s music, his brand of Italo infused New Wave is second to none. But the track chosen, his best known, “Walking in the Neon” is not that rare a piece. True the actual EP is pretty hard to come by, but the track has been bootlegged a number of times in the last few years and has featured on several compilations since the ’85 release. Perhaps the 12” is a precursor for future reissues from the Peter Richard files, time will tell. The track itself, a whistling it waiting for the bus sort of piece, is vintage Synth Pop. Retro future lyrics are enveloped in a catchy hook for a premium floor destroying. The Dub version focuses on the machinery and melody from the “Robot is Systematic” men.

The second of the trio is the one most likely to cause a stir amongst the Rimini followers. Witch was released in ’83 on Out Records, Zanzibar the following year on Discomagic. Elena Ferretti is the vocalist, a singer who went on to lend her larynx to hits like Radiorama’s “Vampires.” Since those heady days the tracks have turned to legend, brought to prominence by West Coast Djs like I-F and Intergalactic Gary. Dark Entries have brought together both EPs together on one piece of wax. Cheerful, catchy and superbly difficult to discover sounds from a dream team of Italo production.

The final EP, Fine Art’s Dark Silence, is the least known of the threesome (least known to me anyway.) The 12” originally came out on the seminal Sensation Records in ’85 with the only copy of discogs having the somewhat hefty asking price of 300 euro. The main feature is a slow burning track. A lengthy drum intro gives way to heady synth-lines, chords pulling the listener into whirling and dipping piece of Italian sun-kissed disco. The flip, in true pastiche form, is the instrumental offering.

I must admit, since my introduction to Italo some ten years ago that my appetite for the sound has waned. This is because I sated my hunger for it some time ago. Yes, there are still some releases I’d like to get my hands on; but the numbers are dwindling. Dark Entries have managed to unearth a few items from my wantlist already and undoubtedly more set to come.

All releases area available on Dark Entries.

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1 Comment

  1. ijwilson says:

    Good article Robbie!

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