Review: The sneaky scalpel fiends behind the Belpaese Edits imprint are back with more inspired reworks of obscure, little known and overlooked European - and mostly Italian - gems from the 1970s and '80s. First up is "Vieni Con Mi", a wonderfully overblown chunk of loose-limbed jazz-rock/disco-soul fusion blessed with breathy female vocals, mazy flutes, wah-wah guitars, heavy bass and drumming so wild it may well be capable of raising cadavers from their graves. Flipside "20 Secoli Di Favole" is similarly minded, if a little closer to Baldelli "cosmic rock" territory - all ragged rock riffs, manic female vocals, groovy bass and intergalactic analogue synthesizer lines.
Review: Belpaese Edits is a new Balearic and cosmic-minded rework series shrouded in mystery. We know it is Italian in origin (the label makes that clear), but very little else. In many ways, it doesn't matter; whoever is behind it, this debut EP is excellent. It opens with the chant-along, carnival-ready jazz-funk/South American style disco fusion of "Sentimento", before charging off on a more low-slung and driving direction via "Ancora Piaccio", a tasty revision of a lesser-known disco-era Italian record. Over on side B, "Di Chi Sei" sounds like it was made by Italy's answer to Sade (and, yes, it made us want to walk barefoot down a beach arm in arm with a loved one), while "Para Para" is a chugging, reggae-influenced chunk of slo-mo Italian disco-exotica.
Review: Back in August, Shadowy Italian re-edit crew Belpaese impressed with their first self-titled EP, which offered up decidedly cosmic and Balearic-minded reworks. There's more on offer on this similarly fine second set of revisions. On side A you'll find "Dai Vivo", an extended, near ten-minute revision of a quirky European disco-rock record of the kind that Daniel Baldelli may once have rocked at the Cosmic Club. On the reverse, "Moribonda" is a fine version of a synth-laden, turn-of-the-'80s Italian disco-pop/funk-rock record (think Greg Kihn Band and you're close), while "Sara Uno Smacco" is a sleazy, slo-mo disco delight.
Review: Climb on board the Belpaese express for another scalpel-wielding excursion into the eccentric world of cosmic disco and long-forgotten Italian club cuts. It's a journey every bit as riveting as their previous 12-inch trips. On the A-side you can settle in and let the extended Latin piano solos, Balearic boogie grooves, sweaty percussion breaks and early '80s jazz-funk synths of "Vai Di Samba" carry you towards your destination. A trip to the B-side buffet car is encouraged, too, where both "Fonde E Confonde" and the jammed-out, off-kilter Brazilian style electrofunk madness of "Electrosamba" are far more appetizing than your average on-board snack. The latter track, which also contains some insanely heavy passages of layered samba beats, is probably the EP's most potent cut.