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Various Artists

Elaste Vol. 3

(Compost; US: 25 Oct 2010; UK: 20 Sep 2010)

Three volumes in, the Elaste series is suffering from big-time diminishing returns. Even if you were actually at one of the exclusive Italian nightclubs in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s where these songs might’ve played, these are the ones that likely inspired you to pause for a drink or a bathroom break. Asthmatic synthesizers and silly concepts have free rein on these 14 tracks, and there are no “hidden gems”. Riccardo Cioni & D.J.F.T. Band’s “Fog” holds up as decent proto-electro, and Pollyester’s “Beuys Boys” stands out by virtue of its heavy funk rhythm. Otherwise, titles like “Maccaroni Radio” and “The Shark Eats Ice” tell you all you need to know. If you’ve ever had a hankering for a Eurodisco version of Toto’s insipid “Africa”, complete with vocoder, here it is. Yes, the concepts behind some of this music were influential. The Atari 2600 was influential too, but that doesn’t make it seem any less dated now.


John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.

Tagged as: cosmic disco | elaste
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