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Radio LBB

Radio LBB: Italo Disco Special

YOUTH MODE's Jack Derbyshire shares 14 of his favourite Italo records

Radio LBB: Italo Disco Special

It's impossible to define where Italo starts and ends, but the term ‘Italo’ was first used by the German label ZYX in the mid-eighties to market compilations of Italian records that were popular in the clubs of Northern Europe. Italo was mainly Italian producers pretending to be English or American by singing in 'English' and using English-sounding monikers.

It’s fair to say there’s probably just as many terrible Italo records as there are great. For a while, Italo disco went totally out of fashion, but as house and techno emerged, it soon became apparent that the Italo sound had a profound impact on the producers and DJs in Chicago and Detroit. Italo’s influence is undeniable.

Looking at the genre from a soundtrack perspective, a great recent example of its power is in the Diego Maradona film, directed by Asif Kapadia. Inspired by the Giorgio Moroder-style disco that Maradona would have been partying to in Naples during the eighties, Kapadia and Chris King (film editor) replaced the score for the title opening with the track 'Delorean Dynamite' by Todd Terje. It’s grainy handheld video footage, you are jumped straight into the front seat of a car riding at pace with Diego Maradona. The city is Naples, the destination the Stadio San Paolo and this opening sequence to the biopic of the footballer 

This playlist consists of 14 of my favourite Italo records, with the first half reflecting the early years of Italo, and the second half focusing more on Italo in the present day from record labels such as Valerie and Italians Do It Better.

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