Sunday, December 30, 2007

The 20 Best Albums of 2007 - Various Artists: "After Dark"

8. 2007 was a wonderful year for Disco music thanks in large part to the output of a small Jersey-based label called Italians Do It Better. Now, I could've placed the debut albums from label mates Chromatics or Glass Candy on this list, both of which were deserving, but it was too hard to narrow it down so I decided the democratic thing would be to place this compilation on the list instead.

After Dark serves as an excellent primer to the recent revival of Italo-Disco, painting a picture of city life that makes the album's title fitting. The pulsing synth drone and haunting vocals of Chromatics' "Hands in the Dark" and "In the City" put you right in the middle of a cold and lonely night in any urban metropolis. Mirage's fantastic remix of Indeep's "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" adds signature Italo synths, making the song sound as if it slipped itself a Quaalude during a trip to the bathroom.

There are many more gems throughout this compilation's 70-plus minutes, with each one providing a different take on the familiar Italo dreamy two-step beat. After 35 years and countless dance/electro trends that have come and gone, After Dark proves the staying power of Italo-Disco still has plenty of life left.

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