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    Synth God: A Giorgio Moroder Primer

    Giorgio Moroder

    Get ready for a ton of great videos and synth masterpieces from the legendary Giorgio Moroder. In this comprehensive post from Brice over at the Do Andrioids Dance Blog titled “Synth God: A Giorgio Moroder Primer,” we are given the best of the best from the iconic producer. I have always been inspired by his work from films like “Scarface” and “The Neverending Story” and it seems well deserved to see Moroder enjoying a second act with his newer work with Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk. So strap yourself in and get ready for an education in classic synth production from the godfather himself!

    You want to credit Kraftwerk for being the pioneers of electronic music? Fine, go ahead. They’re not the ones who pioneered electronic dance music, though. The “dance” part is thanks to Giorgio Moroder, who came to the electronic music medium through disco rather than experimental music like Kraftwerk. Giorgio Moroder is the prototype of the super-producer. He was the first one to become a household name with a string of chart topping tracks from the mid-’70s to the early ’80s. He has produced for the biggest pop stars of that day, made some of the most iconic movie soundtracks in history, and still had time to produce his own records, which was where he would show off his innovative side. With the announcement his new single “74 is the New 24” with news that he’ll be releasing his first studio album in 30 years, we thought now was as good a time as any to reminisce on some of his greatest moments, and for those less familiar, present a primer of sorts to help you understand why everyone talks about him.

    Einzelganger – “Good Old Germany”

    Label: Oasis
    Year: 1975

    This one I put in not because it’s amazing, but more to show that Moroder started making electronic music pretty close to the same time as Kraftwerk. Their first electronic album (Autobahn) came out in 1974 and the album this one is from, Einzelganger, dropped in 1975. This is in some ways very reminiscent of the Kraftwerk style. I wonder if that was an influence. The album is cool if you like really experimental music, but it’s not a really fun listen.

    Giorgio – “Knights In White Satin”

    Label: Oasis
    Year: 1976

    This 1976 cover of the track originally by The Moody Blues has a bassline that just won’t quit. It’s slow, sexy, and one of the best disco songs ever made. It’s not 100% electronic, but there is definitely some heavy use of vocoder and other elements. The arrangement is beautiful, and that’s the thing about Moroder: he does some of the best damn arrangements in dance music history.

    Donna Summer – “I Feel Love”

    Label: Casablanca
    Year: 1977

    Well, this had to be on this list, or people would be freaking out; it’s the track that everyone likes to say is the first electronic dance music track and is one of the reasons Giorgio is considered to be one of the greatest. Donna Summer, who sadly died a few years ago, was Giorgio’s muse and theirs is really one of the most incredible collaborations in dance music history. Her amazing voice and his insane production skills made them an unbeatable during the late ’70s.

    Donna Summer – “Now I Need You”

    Label: Casablanca
    Year: 1977

    This one is well known to people who have decided (like me) to go deeper into the Moroder world, but I feel like it should be better known. It’s a really beautiful piece of music that feels like it should be played in a cathedral. You can totally see how it influenced the dance music scene to come, and it dates back to Donna Summer’s 1977 album Once Upon A Time…. Crazy.

    On the album, it goes straight into the next song called “Working The Midnight Shift,” and I feel like they should be heard together so that’s why I was delighted when I saw that they were available as a pair on YouTube.

    Giorgio Moroder – “From Here To Eternity”

    Label: Oasis
    Year: 1977

    Honestly, I could have just put Giorgio’s entire 1977 album From Here To Eternity on here; it’s dope all around. I’m sad because I have it on vinyl, but I played it too much during university hanging out with roommates partying and one side has a big scratch. I don’t know where the fuck I will find a copy now. Anyway, it’s a pretty wild ride with what is perhaps the greatest cover in electronic dance music. That ‘stache is unbeatable. It could beat you up.

    Donna Summer – “MacArthur Park [Suite]”

    Label: Casablanca
    Year: 1978

    I put this one because I find the lyrics hilarious and I think is amazing that they did an epic cover of the original that clocked in at almost 18 minutes long. People don’t do shit like that these days, which is kind of sad. The time just flies by listening to this one since, as the title suggests, it’s structured like a suite of classical music with different parts, so it keeps things moving and fresh. This is about as awesome as it is possible for disco to get. I dare a contemporary producer to try to make a 18-minute work that is even close to being as consistently awesome as this. I don’t think they could succeed. Maybe kids have no attention spans. Yeah, let’s blame it on them.

     

     

    Vibe

    December 1st, 2014

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