An odyssey through the golden years of space disco
By Patrick Ogle
Projekt is poised to release the Alan Elettronico album Electric Mind (Deluxe Edition). This extended version has SCADS of new material. Featured are remixes by Ryan Lum (Love Spirals Downwards), new signee VEiiLA, and ambient icon Erik Wøllo. Alan Elettronico began creating music in 1998. These early efforts include records of the drone ambient variety. He continued to be periodically involved in creating new music while also working as a poet and teacher. Electric Mind (2021) was his first release for Projekt Records and is an eclectic, joyous, electronic throwback that becomes positively addictive the more often you listen.
Electric Mind (Deluxe) Name-Your-Price Download at Bandcamp
This recording sounds like many of the better electronic soundtrack music from the 70s and 80s and, frequently, you can dance to it; is this similarity coincidental?
“Not a coincidence, I spent almost two years trying to capture the original sound of that specific kind of music,” says Elettronico.
He describes the process as a philological effort to reproduce sound libraries of digital synths while keeping the production similar to the standards of that time period.
“Inspiration came from Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, which is based on the same premise. It’s a homage to the music that made me love music,” he says.
This is a joyful effort, it isn’t some dry attempt at reproduction. You will want to dance. It is entirely possible you won’t be able to stop yourself. Although the artist had stopped himself from making music for some time.
“My Projekt Records debut came after a long hiatus. I hadn’t made any music since 2009, while my first and only album released when I worked in the collective named Oem Quartet, was distributed in 2006, and it was a dubstep album for which I provided the melodies,” says Elettronico. “So my debut under Projekt is a lot different from what I used to make. I wanted to explore some kind of music I used to listen to when I was a kid.”
Likewise this is a different sort of release for the label — not generally known for music likely to make you dance. Not all of this record has that vibe but a significant amount of it does. Elettronico’s most listened to recent records give an idea where his mind is musically.
“I am totally in love with Tension, Kylie Minogue’s last album. Production is insane, and songwriting is brilliant: you can enjoy the levity of the pop side, but when you are a producer you can get amazed by how any sound is well crafted,” he says. “Same for Everything But The Girl’s new album, a worthy comeback.”
It might seem curious that an award-winning poet like Elettronico creates music with few words. He doesn’t think it is peculiar at all.
“I don’t think it’s strange, as a poet I have always worked on sounds, and this is the same when I make music,” he says.
He also notes that he hasn’t used his poems for lyrics but that he occasionally uses lyrics on the same topics like the question of identity. But mostly? It is about music.
“I guess that when I make music I want the sounds to speak for me,” says Elettronico.
What does Elettronico hope you, the listener, will get out of his music?
“When it’s about wordless music, the reaction may vary: anyone can see anything in those patterns, and I like that. I particularly enjoy when my music gets people to dance,” says Elettronico. “I don’t mean in shows, people are there to dance and would dance to anything; I mean when they hear it by chance and start bobbing to the rhythm without even realizing. That’s when music gets deep.”
This release has brought Elettronico back into the musical realm, and he doesn’t have plans for another hiatus.
“The Deluxe Edition of Electric Mind has given me the chance to collaborate with a lot of people, fantastic musicians. It was Sam’s idea, and I can’t be more grateful to him and all the Projekt artists who worked on the ambient remixes,” he says. “This experience has convinced me to work on some ambient material I have kept in my archive, not sure what I was going to do with it. I think I’ll give it a chance for the future. For live gigs, I am working with Ekranoplan, one of the artists featured in the remix album, and very active in live sessions around Italy.”