It's 1982, still early on a Friday night in the sleepy northern Italian town of Gambara. You enter a former cinema, recently converted to a rather impressive discotheque. In one corner, an imposing Egyptian statue presents a disco ball gift to the heavens. Its cousins are already up there, a silver solar system bombarded by colored lights and... a laser. Chunky loudspeakers line the walls around the dancefloor and, in a back room somewhere, audiophile McIntosh amplifiers feed them lumbering, pulsing, electronic beats.
The music is unknown, strange and wonderful. Soaring synthesizers, then tablas and sitar give way to Franco-African singing over a mechanical beat. Eventually you hear something familiar - from the radio, or a movie maybe - but it's playing in slow motion.
The club is Typhoon and the presiding DJ is Beppe Loda. Near the booth, a few awkward looking guys mill around, sneak-peeking at the spinning platters, and jotting in note pads names like Richard Wahnfried, League Unlimited, Sheila Chandra, and Zazou Bikaye.
Outside, more people arrive in black Citroens or on Vespas, wearing Levi's and Clarks. Dancers fill the space and a hefty line forms, with a 1-out, 1-in policy. The music, up to standard disco tempo now, remains varied: new wave, funk, disco/electronic disco, Brazilian jazz, African drums. It's blended expertly (a new phenomenon), sound effects are added, and, at one point, drummers arrive with congas and djembes to play along. Loda guides them, navigates and overlaps genres smoothly. His juxtapositions shouldn't work, but somehow do. He takes his crowd on a journey - back before a DJ taking their crowd on a journey was a cliché - across genres, around the world, to the cosmos and back.
His fans are devoted and many. (Eventually they would overwhelm the town of 4000, causing the club to close in 1987.) They buy his mixtapes as fast as he - and other enterprising individuals - can make them, and the records he plays only make brief pit-stops on store shelves.
And those guys with the note pads? Cut to the record plant, where they are pressing up volumes of bootlegs with names like Electric Afro Funky Sound and Afro Trance Cosmic Communication.
|Meet Il Maestro
Listen and Download
I Haven't seen as many from the Afro series floating around the web. Getting tribal here, inventing the concept of world music - Africa, Brazil, bongo infested funk and rock... this one also re-mastered by Loda. Afro 13/84
MoMA PS1 Warm Up promo mix 2011
Promo mix from PS1 Warm Up last year. #67 in his "BL" series. Classic space disco!
Beats In Space 2006
His 2006 set live on Tim Sweeney's world famous Beats in Space show. Featuring a lot of records acquired during that visit. Beats In Space
Eletronicca Meccanica 8/85
Eletronicca Meccanica really doesn't need a description. It is what it sounds like - Yello, Severed Heads, etc. Re-mastered by the man from his original cassette.
Eletronicca Meccanica 8/85
From the Dance series of tapes, one of the first mixes I heard and loved. Eclectic workout: Can, Cat Stevens, Klaus Schultz, Bohannon...
Dance 9/84 Side A / Side B
Memory Counter One - Basic (Beppe Loda Remix)
Original production form 1984 with Francesco Boscolo.