Today we reissue three of our favorite Italo disco records made by the husband and wife production duo of Manlio Cangelli and Lorella Ghilardi. First up is Blue Russell’s “I Wanna Fly Away.” That track was originally issued in 1984 on Disco Magic Records. Ghilardi also contributed backing vocals on Clay Pedrini’s “New Dream,”. The song, which Pedrini conceptualized while on summer vacation, was Pedrini’s only release. The third 12-inch is from Wish Key. Our reissue combines the group’s 1983 single, “Orient Express,” with their 1985 effort “Last Summer.”
Dark Entries Editions is proud to announce the next reissue in their series of hard to find Italo Disco club hits. Blue Russell was the husband/wife duo of Manlio Cangelli and Lorella Ghilardi from Milan. Cangelli was a session musician and composer for many Italian singers, making music for commercial TV and working long days in the studio. He had a strong passion for the analog synthesizers of the time and discovered the latest drum machines. After appreciating a healthy dose of Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, he set out to make dance music similar to the Disco sounds of the late 1970s. The duo would go on to write and produce many Italo classics for artists such as B. Rose, Wish Key, Clay Pedrini, Jerry Moon, Scotch and more.
“I Wanna Fly Away” was recorded in Milan in the Spring of 1984 and released later that year on Disco Magic Records. The band created their signature sound using an Oberheim OB-X, Elka Synthex and Roland JX-3P as well as a cache of drum machines like the Oberheim DMX, Roland TR-808 and E-mu Drumulator. Cangelli uses double octaves, a technique where one hand plays the high notes of the chords on one synthesizer and at the same time another hand plays the bass notes of the same chords in a shorter time. This skillful alternation creates the unique arpeggios signature to Cangelli’s stylized sound. Lorella’s vocals are haunting and powerful. She oozes charisma as she sings about the loss of a lover and the sadness she feels, wishing she could escape this world. The B-side features an instrumental version with monolithic synth lines and throbbing drums.
Both songs are remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a jacket with original artwork of a Lorella standing in the cockpit of a plane, ready to fly away at any moment. Each copy includes 2-sided postcard with lyrics, photos and notes designed by Eloise Leigh.
Dark Entries Editions is proud to announce the next reissue in their series of rare Italo Disco club hits. Clay Pedrini is a musician and singer from Milan. He released his only single, “New Dream”, in 1984 on Sensation Records. Despite his limited output, Pedrini proved himself to be a shining star of the Italo scene. Unfortunately, his career was cut short by a severe case of whiplash, but his fusion of analog keyboards and electronic trickery has stood the test of time.
Clay had the idea for “New Dream” during a summer vacation. When he returned home and met up with his friend and fellow musician Manlio Cangelli, things began to develop. Influenced by Giorgio Moroder and Kraftwerk, together they wrote and recorded “New Dream” at B3 Studio in Milan in 1983. Arpeggios soar amidst cutting edge electronic percussion, but Clay’s strong vocals take the lead on this tale of lost love and summer’s end. The E-mu Drumulator, a sample-based drum-machine similar to the famous Linn Drum, was featured prominently. Additional electronic drums and keyboards were played by Massimo Costa, and backing vocals were done by Fulvio Monieri. The infectious chorus was sung by Lorella Ghilardi, the vocalist for Blue Russell, B. Rose, and Ella Morris. On the B-side there is an instrumental version with a mid-song breakdown and dubbed out chorus.
Both songs are remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a jacket with original photo of Clay playing a synthesizer framed by a television screen with block typography by Filippo Maniscalco. of a female model lying on the floor grabbing the leg of a mannequin.Each copy includes 2-sided postcard with lyrics, photos and notes designed by Eloise Leigh.
Wish Key was an Italo Disco group formed by the husband/wife duo of Manlio Cangelli and Lorella Ghilardi in Milan.Their first single “Orient Express” was released in 1983 by Discomagic Records. The song was arranged, composed and recorded by Manlio, with the lyrics by Lorella. It was supposed to be the new single for Blue Russell, but on the insistence of Severo Lombardoni of Discomagic Records, the group was persuaded to use a male vocalist. A demo of the song was given to DJ Massimo Berti, who contributed lead vocals, while the backing vocals were done by Blue Russell. The subsequent promotion of the song demanded finding an alternate female vocalist because Blue Russell was already committed to the promotion of her own single, “I Wanna Fly Away”. Silvia Merelli, Berti’s wife, was brought in for TV appearances and future recordings. In 1985 Massimo Berti began recording another single for the Wish Key project. “Last Summer” was recorded with help from Italo producer Sandy Dian.
“Orient Express” begins with a rolling baseline, bright synthesizer stabs, and a sampled train siren. The double-tracked male/female vocals compliment each other perfectly, heightening the dramatic tension. Massimo sings about taking a train ride as a metaphor for traveling through life’s adventures. The song is accompanied by a shorter instrumental edit with an extended intro. On the flip is “Last Summer”, a slower paced affair with Silvia recalling a dream of lying on the beach and having a good time. The breakdown introduces synthesized steel drums and Spanish guitar, for a touch of tropical melancholia.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a jacket with original artwork of a train shuffling through the desert by Adriano Merigo. Each copy includes 2-sided postcard with lyrics, photos and notes designed by Eloise Leigh.