An Italo-sampling album whose laidback feel misses the mark.
Enter A.O.D., short for Album or Adult Oriented Dance (either works in this case), a record ostensibly made for people who, like its makers, might be past their clubbing heyday. Passarani and Delphi were also supposedly inspired by the "huge dance temples" on the outskirts of regional Italian towns, and wanted to pay "tribute to the night trip to those locations and to the morning trip from those locations." I've been to a couple of said temples, one close to Perugia and the other near Bologna. It's hard to imagine A.O.D. as the soundtrack of choice among local ravers.
Samples feature heavily on the album—"1:00AM" is the only track without them—and all are taken from the catalog of the legendary Goody Music Records / Full Time Records label in Rome, an institution rooted more in New York boogie than Italo disco. Rather than being recast into modern dance floor magic, however, on A.O.D. these samples are a springboard for a genteel kind of Italo. Take the stuttering opening synth of Laura D'Angelo & La Danceterie's "Follow Me" on "Warning Fails," which is slowed and stuck on a pensive loop. The vaporous robotic vocal recalls downtempo Daft Punk (and pops up again on "1:00AM"), but the track is too long and would have worked better as an interlude.
The album's tracks are often more sedate than its source material. The sampled bassline on "Night Quake" is stretched to a sludgy pace. "Salsaro Ete" and "Kelly McGillis," too, are much slower. The effect is not unpleasant. But the best track, "1:00AM," is also the liveliest. Raise the BPM a few notches on this disco chugger and you've got something approximating vintage Tiger & Woods. In the past, Passarani and Delphi got creative with stellar source material to make something fresh and equally irresistible. The problem with A.O.D. is that the music it samples is ultimately more fun and interesting.