A new series connected to our globe-trotting Infusions party where we invite guests to explore the music of a particular country, artist, era or movement.
As we learnt from his Diggers Directory contribution, Going Good Records boss Brian Not Brian isn’t afraid to show off his diverse record collection. Before joining Francis Inferno Orchestra this weekend for a cosmic Infusions in London, he explores the cosmic sounds from around the world, picking a favourite track from ten different countries (listen to as a playlist here).
These selections serve only as a personal glimpse of the type of music that was popularised in Italy’s ‘Cosmic’ and ‘Afro’ scenes and the type of tracks I’ll be playing at Infusions with Francis Inferno Orchestra. This is not meant to be a definitive list of any sort, just records of that style and scene that I personally dig. I wanted to try and show the diverse nature of the DJ’s selections and tastes. On paper the track list looks nuts, music from all over the world that takes in a plethora of musical styles. That’s the beauty of this style of DJ-ing for me, the openness and experimental spirit with which it was all put together by people like Daniele Baldelli, Beppe Loda, DJ TBC, DJ Rubens, Ebreo, Spranga, Meo, DJ Mozart and many more. The stuff these guys laid down in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s has definitely fed into contemporary DJ-ing and dance music and continues to do so. Happy hunting!
Italy: Moz-Art – ‘Svario Party’
A fantastic piece of electro-cosmic magic from legendary Rimini DJ Claudio ‘Mozart’ Rispoli who was up there alongside the scenes top jocks like Rubens, TBC, Daniele Baldelli & co during the sounds ‘golden era’. He was also (much later) the guy who brought us Soft House company’s ‘A little piano / What you need’ – A bonafide Italo-house classic!
UK: John Forde – ‘Don’t You Know Who Did It’
The mysterious John Forde gave us this hands down cosmic classic that found favour with everyone from Baldelli to DJ Harvey since it’s release in 1979. I have to admit, this one is a big personal fave and I’ll never ever tire of this record, it’s just amazing if not just a little too short! Not bad for a guy who was in infamous British Ska band Judge Dread!
Canada: Rational Youth – ‘Coboloid Race’
Having become mildly obsessed with a particular Beppe Loda mixtape about a decade ago, this piece of Canadian post punk synth at the start of side-A was absolutely one of the highlights of the whole mix for me. It’s super cold, robotic and otherworldly. Still to this day the way Loda mixes this track and many other total gems on that tape has me in awe, next level stuff.
Japan: Yellow Magic Orchestra – ‘1000 Knives’
YMO need no intro really, a truly groundbreaking group that obviously shaped modern music as we know it and continue to do so today. You only have to listen to a track like this, from 1981, to feel how ahead of the curve they were. This one was a big spin for the cosmic jocks alongside numerous other YMO tracks. Sounds like it was made in 10 years time. Legendary.
Brazil: Caetano Veloso – ‘Um canto de afoxé para o Bloco do Ilê’
As the cosmic scene progressed and branched off into more exploratory territory DJ’s were incorporating wider sounds into their sets. This included a lot of Brazilian, African and world music. Interestingly tracks like this Caetano Veloso number would have been mixed with electronic drum tracks or ambient synth sounds leading into the ‘Afro-funky’ phase that succeeded the cosmic scene.
USA: Bob James – ‘Moonbop’
Bob James – One of the most sampled artists in music. Known for his legendary LP’s on seminal Jazz label CTI and so much more. It’s safe to say his output in 1984, from when ‘Moonbop’ was taken, wasn’t a patch on his ‘Nautilus’ and ‘Westchester Lady’ days but what a jam it is… it’s drum machine driven pseudo-Balearic mood was a hit on the cosmic scene and remains another firm personal fave of mine today. Sounds great on a decent system, super well produced and just punchy! He should get extra credit for the LP sleeve too 🙂
Germany: Moebius-Plank-Neumeier – ‘Pitch Control (Slow)’
It’s true that literally 100’s of German records could have occupied this spot, or could have been a whole dedicated list on it’s own but ‘Pitch Control’ definitely deserves a mention. It still sounds futuristic now and it’s 30+ something years old. What a track. Seriously, if you can’t get with this then maybe you’re in the wrong biz. Yet again, Dieter Moebius & co just decimate the competition with the most bat shit machine music out there. Another record that shows how forward thinking the cosmic scene was with it’s selections.
Gabon: Pierre Akendengue – ‘Epuguzu’
This one is another classic. Big Baldelli tune. Akendengue was a poet and musician from Gabon, right next to the Congo. This particular track of his from 1983 is a builder, eventually unfurling into a monster groove. Fitting right in amongst the heady mixture of Brazilian Batucadas, Sky Records synth freakouts and 33rpm post punk 12″ mixes that shaped the cosmic aesthetic.
France: Venus Gang – ‘Love to Fly’
JP Massiera’s discography, and singular style are the thing of mythology. He literally produced 100’s of records (and drank a shitload of wine in the process) and was one of the most adventurous sonic explorers of his day. Venus Gang, one of his projects from 1978 gave us the sleek ‘Love to fly’, a sort of cosmic ‘cover’ of the O-Jays ‘For the love of money’ which became a cult classic.
Netherlands: Nyrabakiga – ‘Cor Corora’
A monumental slab of experimental Afro-electronics from 1981 ‘Cor Corora’ is almost the archetypal cosmic record – clocking in at an epic 20 minutes with it’s dubby mixture of drum machines, african spoken word and synths the track feels like it was tailor made to be played by the scenes DJ’s. Totally out there and all the better for it! Recorded, produced and released by a Rotterdam label more associated with Punk-rock and new-wave this rarity has long been a mythical beast that is super hard to find. Essential.