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Italo Funk

    Italo and Funk! A long standing relationship that goes back to American R&B artists connecting with the Italian audience in the 60's. At that time the Italian music market was still influential on a global scale and you could find an artist like Wilson Pickett singing in Italian (with a quite puzzling accent!) at the Sanremo Festival in 1968. The song he performed, "Un'Avventura", was written by Ludo Battisti the biggest Italian pop star of all time, a lover of all black American music, who has recently been re-discovered by global diggers, for his psychedelic, latin, funky period of the mid to late 70's. But the market was ready for that real funk: in 1971 James Brown performed "Sex Machine" live on national TV.

    Then Umbria Jazz festival opened for business in 1973 bringing the likes of Weather Report and Horace Silverto the more intellectual side of listeners. While the mainstream crowd was grooving in cinema theaters to the orchestral funk of masters like Piero Umiliani, Piero Piccioni and Armando Trovajoli and their soundtracks of the 'Poliziotteschi' B-Movies. With the 70's giving us the Mediterranean soul-funk of Napoli Centrale, directly influenced by the nearby NATO American base dwellers, the picture was complete: it was time for the Disco revolution! From Moroder to Mauro Boncaldi the list of Italian pioneers that molded dance music into a new hybrid of electronic basslines and over the top melodies is endless. The enormous international success of Italo Disco created a market of independent labels and distributions that were the basis of the next mutation of funky dance music: House. Italo Disco influenced the birth of House in America and then House came back to Italy and gave a new generation of producers the kick in the ass to start their own thing. 


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