The style of Daniele Baldelli, who compiled this mix, is a throwback to a moment when it seemed like anything was possible. Before the age when genres were rigid and terms like "house" meant "cool" (the '80s), a genre (the '90s) or something you can't afford (now), his DJ sets knew no boundaries. He pitched down disco records as far as they would go and gave birth to the slow chugging Balearic sound. Baldelli was one of the few that felt comfortable mixing early synth experiments into reggae and then going straight into African music. But it worked. In the late '70s at Baia Degli Angeli's in Gabicce, Italy, he was one of the most-open minded—and respected—DJs around.
Three decades on, he still is. The concept behind Cosmic Rock is rock sensibilities married to dance music; not dance as it's regarded now, but instead anything that makes you want to dance. It's also a chance for Baldelli to show off his passion for crate digging. It's unlikely you'll have heard of many of the artists here. (Martha
and the Muffins, anyone?) But that doesn't mean you won't love these songs. The feel is similar to the sleazy, analogue sound of Optimo's mix series, a comparison which extends to the incongruous arrangement. Baldelli happily puts something like the so-uplifting-it-hurts 'Better Be Good to Me' into The Troubles in Northern Ireland-referencing lo-fi EBM of 'Ulster Defence'. Not exactly easy bedfellows. Where Baldelli differs from Optimo, though, is his unashamed appetite for having a party. You'll find no K-Hole excursions and mind-wrong acid trips on Cosmic Rock. Sure, it gets very quirky and downright odd in places but a tune and a vocal is never far away.
Being the consummate professional, Baldelli and friend Marco Dionigi have mixed it all perfectly, even if the transitions are a bit short. When you're dealing with stuff like harmonicas, techno thudding and daft guitar solos, though, it's impressive enough that they've even made it coherent. Even when Baldelli appears to push things too far it somehow works. Alicia Bridges' 'Body Heat' is borderline cheese but in the context of the mix you not only forgive it but get into it. Cosmic Rock arrives against a landscape of beardy disco-reedits and Pilooski's reanimation of Frankie Valli's 'Beggin', and it's tempting to see it as being 'on trend' or deliberately modish. That would be wrong. Given Baldelli's background it's surely about simply sourcing damn good music, regardless of what/when/where ever it's from.
Buy Various Artists - Cosmic Disco?! Cosmic Rock!! at
Tracklist: Various Artists - Cosmic Disco?! Cosmic Rock!!01. Fra Lippo Lippi - Say Something
02. Richard Bone - Mutant Wisdom
03. The Romantics - A Night Like This
04. Kevin Harrison - Ink Man
05. Translator - Break Down Barriers
06. Martha And The Muffins - Danseparc (Every Day It's Tomorrow)
07. The Dream Syndicate - 50 In A 25 Zone
08. Thompson Twins - Beach Culture
09. Positive Noise - Positive Negative
10. David Jackson - Stonewall Stands With Thomas Davies
11. La Bionda - I Got Your Number
12. Torch Song - Prepare To Energize
13. Ray Parker Junior - The Other Woman
14. Strafe Für Rebellion - Mosche Bildt Njet
15. Spirit - Potatoland Theme
16. Spider - Better Be Good To Me
17. Bronx Irish Catholics - Ulster Defense
18. Alicia Bridges - Body Heat
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