Profondo Nero compiled by Cinema Royale
Profondo Nero narrates a storyline that goes beyond the borders of Italy’s musical legacy. Cutting across the face of Italo disco’s leftfield musicians between the early and late ‘80s, Profondo Nero champions a multi-faceted sound that nods to the blueprint of Italo disco but tries to dig deeper. The music is unmistakably Italo disco but moves away from the familiar classic sound. Amsterdam based collector Cinema Royale stitches together eleven tracks from 1983 – 1989, celebrating a sound he fittingly describes as ‘leftfield Italo’.
The compilation connects the dots between soulful disco (Louise Freeman – Mirage), synth-pop (Mark – Dreamland), electro-rap (Loukas Thanos – Jazzburger), breaks (Santoro – Lover Message), 80s dub disco (Jet Set – Love Break), Balearic (Isamar & Compañia - No Estas), boogie (Tom Hooker – Talk With Your Body) and proto-house (International Music System – An English ’93).
Profondo Nero’s title salutes the legendary oeuvre of Italian horror director Dario Argento. His Profondo Rosso (1975) is a classic example of exquisite cinematic storytelling, boasting courageous colors, expressionist camera angles and an unforgettable Goblin score forming the ingredients for an intriguing piece of art. Profondo Rosso’s music, created the spark for a new Dekmantel Records endeavor led by Amsterdam based experimental film score connoisseur, record collector and DJ Cinema Royale.
For those in the know of underground Amsterdam music culture, Arne Visser aka Cinema Royale is among the city’s longest standing record collectors. Born to an Italian mother and Dutch father, Arne was brought up on a diet of Italo disco in the 80s. Cinema Royale explains: ‘For Profondo Nero I took a plunge into the lesser known fringes of Italo disco. From there I tried to connect, among others, San Francisco boogie, Balearic, Japanese late era Italo-electro and synth-pop funk. I hope you can hear what I had in mind: an infectious showcase of my take on traditional Italo disco that will hopefully get a lot of listeners itching for a spin. It’s fair to say that lately this particular sound has seen a reappraisal and renewed interest.
As a party-starting collection for entry-level connoisseurs or suave but lazy types, I hope Profondo Nero can be an education. I’m not claiming I’m the first DJ or collector to do so, but I did try do present something special by digging deep.’ It wasn’t my goal to unearth the most obscure tracks, instead I wanted to compose a compilation that takes you on a journey.
‘In my opinion the best DJs create something extraordinary out of illogical selections by combining music against all odds and showing different kind of moods along the way. There’s a certain amount of arrogance involved: you take the music out of its original context. But by doing so in a very conscious way, you might be able to enhance the power of the individual records. Hopefully each song on Profondo Nero provides an intimate and memorable experience.’