Album of the Day: Various Artists, “Italo Funk”

Don’t worry Italo-disco fiends, you’re not missing a whole subgenre in your collection of sought-after 12”s. Italo Funk is a new-school gathering of underground heads who helped shape the country’s dance scene from the ’90s onward. Curated by Soul Clap co-founder Eli Goldstein (aka Bamboozle as of late), the compilation doesn’t stick to one record store aisle. It starts with more outré strains of house music, and only gets weirder and wilder from there.

Milan’s dynamic Boot & Tax duo sets the stage with a six-minute slow burner called “Macinare”; like a DJ set with a long game in mind, it won’t set any dancefloors on fire. It’s a tense listen, a dark journey dredged in disco ball dust. The shadows lift and the lights come on by the second track, however, as Capofortuna spray laser-guided synth lines and magic trick melodies that’ll loosen more than a few limbs. Make your way through the fog machines and you’ll find the future-shocked Funk Rimini is actually Capofortuna’s Ricky Cardelli, who takes his tightly-wound sound in a loose band direction.

In other words, these 10 club-ready tracks are more than just a starter pack for spring-loaded DJ sets. It connects the dots between various corners of the vast Italian universe, from the frantic beats of Tiger & Woods to the spring-loaded analog loops of Deep88. If only more family reunions were this funky.

-Andrew Parks

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