Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Chromatics @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 7/19/12

Ruth Radelet and Johnny Jewel of the Chromatics

As synthesizers became more widely available in the 1970s, more and more European musicians adopted their use to various effects, sometimes leaving an indelible print upon their national music scene. Nowhere was this more true than with Italo disco, a synthesized extension of disco music to take root in Italy in the late 1970s.

The impact of the genre was significant, ultimately circling back to feed the cradle of the disco genre in New York City and clearing the way for the manifestation of mature new wave music — and especially New Romantic music. (There is not a New Romantic soul that does not absolutely adore the collaborations of Italo disco grandmaster Giorgio Moroder with disco queen Donna Summer.) In hindsight, Italo disco can be seen as building very important bridges across not only these genres but into Europop and Hi-NRG in general.

It is wholly welcome then that the spaced out dance beats found in Italo disco should continue to find acclaim and a home with the assistance of specific labels and projects. Perched atop this Italo disco survival is independent record label Italians Do It Better, out of Bayonne, NJ. One of the key movers and shakers in that label is Johnny Jewel, space synthmaster extraordinaire, who lends his talents to the bands Glass Candy and the Chromatics, among other efforts.

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