The Return of Disco: Giorgio Moroder’s First Output In Thirty Years
He reigned supreme with chart topping hits in the 70s with the late Donna Summer and though disco’s greatest have long passed, that hasn’t stopped Giorgio Moroder from continuing its legacy. The Italian producer announced his first album in thirty years earlier this year, with a slew of features from music’s most talented. Kylie Minogue, Sia, Britney Spears provided vocals on a few songs, and with Moroder’s natural flare for disco, the tracks instantly turn the night into a disco frenzy.
Moroder wastes no time throwing you onto the dance floor, giving that the opening number “4 U With Love” is a swirl of progressive house. Its melodic instrumental enchants listeners to start sweating on the floor, in which I can only envision a private laser light/disco ball shimmering party for one taking place. The opening strings of the titular track continue to ensure disco is a staple on this album. Sia’s haunting voice puts listeners in a trance, weaving a tale of falling in love. Charli XCX guests on “Diamonds” and switches from disco to an electropop tune. The verses take the time to explain various scenarios with someone while the chorus is delivered rapidly, as if telling someone how you truly feel for them.
No stranger to having used strings in the past, Moroder enlisted the help of Mikky Ekko for a brooding modern electro tune. In my personal opinion, hearing that Kylie and Moroder teamed up for the lead single had me in a state of hysterics. Disco plus disco equals…disco? Minogue, having covered “I Feel Love” in the past and using inspiration for her plethora of albums, joined forces with the producer for the disco tune “Right Here, Right Now.” The electro-synth lead single is greeted with a wave of disco and high notes, once again calling for a hint of orchestral music in the background. Needless to say, the fifth track became Moroder’s first number dance hit in the US while it served as Minogue’s twelfth.
Heralding the second half of the album is newcomer Matthew Koma. Having featured on tracks from Tiësto, Audien, Zedd and Hardwell, Koma’s light vocals carry on the disco legacy in “Tempted.” Previously released last year, “74 Is the New 24” is highly reminiscent of “The Chase” and serves as a momentous note in Moroder’s career. The song, simply defined by its title, reflects on the icon’s place in EDM, reemerging in modern music as a father figure to all things electronic. This may come as a surprise but Britney Spears contacted the legend’s management company about re-recording Suzanne Vega’s iconic “Tom’s Diner.” Turning it into a synth-heavy club banger, Spears effortlessly soars through, with Moroder joining on the bridge.
Moroder’s previous work with Donna Summer often combined synthesizers with an orchestra, giving disco its famous sound. Foxes’ feature “Wildstar” is disco incarnate, with the English singer reaching for the stars — and notes — in a clap-inducing and twirling disco number. The bridge takes a turn where the song progresses into a repetitive synth beat. The robotic voice provides for a modern disco moment before the singer reclaims the song as her own.
The “Milkshake” singer has embraced dance music in the past few years. Kelis carries on an anthem of a more modern approach to music, where the production slightly lets go of its 70s origins. The last feature on the standard edition sees Marlene collaborate for a simple electronic track. No longer bound to disco, Moroder draws inspiration from the current state of music. As how the album started, the album ends with an instrumental number. “La Disco” sees the Italian fusing together his classic elements along with the sounds of today.
Giorgio Moroder cemented himself as a major figure in electronic dance music long ago. After his reemergence with Daft Punk, the Italian has found himself rejuvenated with spirit, having played festivals and many shows where fans danced to old and new. Disco is back and how long it’ll stay, I don’t know, but I can guarantee everyone is in for a good time.
Order Déjà Vu here.