Timeless Italo-disco featuring an album cover its designer could only love, it’s Walter Beinat’s (aka Peter Richard) Frozen Red. The album’s main hook is the unsung club banger “Walking In the Neon.” Nearly seven minutes long, the audacious electronic mix of Hi-NRG, post-punk, and post-disco still gives rise to a constant DJ request: what the hell was that? Quite atmospheric for such a body mover, it’s a song driven almost entirely by an incessant, futuristic take on Patrick Cowley-style drum and bass synth production, with one throbbing bassline accelerating above booming, icy drum machine beats. Hearing that track would easily make one want to slot the rest of the album as another slice of post-Moroder dance floor madness. Now, that would be a huge mistake…

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Looking at the album credits, you’ll find names like Michelangelo Farina and Franco Rago two huge names in the dance music world recording under their more known guise: ‘Lectric Workers. If “Robot Is Systematic” is the one bit of dance music you can remember from them, you’ll guess rightly that’s the same huge line between cheese, heart, and experimentation they tend to draw throughout all their other work. Other names like Celso Valli – if you know some disco history – recording/creating under the name Tantra, Macho, or Passengers, already holds a special/exalted place in everyone’s dance music history. There are more names I can drop to make a bad argument (appealing to authority), but they’re here, a murderer’s row of some of the best Italo-disco producers, creating a much more varied, quite emotionally-charged set of dance music that has far more shades of feeling than one would expect. Even with all the sonic artillery added by that crew, Frozen Red is one of the rare albums where Walter’s vocals (and the vocalist himself) make the whole set that much better.

The A-side may have the hit, but (at least for me) it’s B-side has a certain specialness to it, far more timeless. Its a whole flipside full of warm, wistful, melancholic body music for the sometimes not-so-quiet ride home somewhere, with its own kind of splendor.

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