Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Giogio Moroder & The Munich Machine

Giorgio Moroder rose to prominence in the '70s with his unique electronic style. He scored movie soudtracks and had pop chart success with a variety of stars - Donna Summer, David Bowie, Phil Oakey, Blondie and Berlin all had hits with his music. These are three of my favorite examples of his great style...

Chase is the main theme from the movie 1978 soundtrack Midnight Express. 8 minutes of throbbing, pulsing synths - a very memorable instrumental tune from a horrifying movie about prisons and drug smuggling in Turkey. A few years earlier he had helped make Donna Summer a star with I Feel Love, and Winter Melody is from her 1976 LP Four Seasons Of Love. A lovely ballad, it's a much more organic sounding song than much of what he did with Donna - lot's of strings and horns and a live band. Japan had approached him about doing some production for them and he told David Sylvian that he wanted them to record a song he had written. After a bit of re-recording and re-writing with the band they came up with Life In Tokyo which was a turning point in the band's style - from glam rock to the smoother, synth laced music that brought them their biggest hits.. The man is still working today, and his influence on modern dance music can't be denied. Brilliant.

One new track this week from UK trio Keane. They are another oddly configured band - singer, drummer and a guy who plays piano, keys and bass. Bend And Break is a soaring, anthemic tune that starts out with a piano riff like U2's Unforgettable Fire. There's a bit of Coldplay's melodic touch, and the vocals remind me of a bit of Matt Bellamy of Muse and even a bit like Freddie Mercury. Good stuff.

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