Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I am a vocoder. I am synthetic voice.

Gay Cat Park - "I'm a Vocoder"
Il Discotto Records (ART 1001-A), 1982

Undoubtedly the best of the early lo-fi Discottos, "I'm a Vocoder" was the label's second original release, after Jo-Jo's equally gorgeous "Mind Games" and two licensed Bobby O productions. The best thing about the record is how totally DIY it is. The bassline's as slick and simple as they get, and yet still manages to sound somehow sinister, otherworldly even. Davide Gatti and Luca evidently wrote the lyrics at sixteen, and it was to be their first of several Italo records less consistent in quality than in delightfully bad English. I just can't get around the fact that two sixteen-year-old Italian boys came home from English class to pen a futuristic new-wave single about anthropomorphic electronic appliances. That's like the definition of the 80's. So cute. So brilliant:
I am a friend of the circulator,
Which is in love of microprocessor.
Is out of memory, for this silicons chips
But is no possible exchange with them his bits.
Is no possible exchange with them his bits! How sad. Words to melt even the coldest heart.

By the mid 80's, Italo disco had lost much of its punky innocence. Too bad. We could have used a few more minimal electro tracks as sly as this one. Gatti and Luca could take a hint from Black Devil and think about issuing some of those unreleased Gay Cat demos.

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