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.
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