giorgio_LEAD

Giorgio Moroder is the original Skrillex.

Think about it: both of them had previous, notable-but-less-historic careers — Moroder’s in repurposing American bubblegum for Euro audiences, Skrillex in repurposing metal for screamo fans of the Hot Topic set. Plus, both have instantly recognizable looks — Moroder’s Tony Clifton-impersonating aviators and ‘stache vs. Skrillex’s horn-rimmed glasses and side-chop.

Most importantly, both took innovative sounds others developed — Synthesizers and disco in the case of Moroder, bro-step for Skrillex — and arranged those sounds in easily-digestible, 3.5-minute pop pieces. Not that there’s inherently anything wrong with that. In fact, in both cases, it forever changed the pop landscape. Still, everyone calls Skrillex a hack for it these days while Moroder is still revered as a pioneer. Probably because Daft Punk vouched for him.

Anyway, he’d be the first one to admit how lucky he’s been to have the god of dance music, in all its forms, shine on him his entire career. This is his love letter to the entire genre.

4 U With Love

Four-on-the-floor house instrumental with plenty of side-chain progression, predictable build-and-drops, etc. If it ain’t broke after 40 years (during which EDM arguably turned into a selfparodic blight on music), don’t fix it:

[Instrumental]

Déjà Vu

The titular track has Sia vocal-pouting just a bit too much over a disco-house adaptation of the “Hot n Cold” chords. It’s aptly named, as every piece of its sonic puzzle seems co-opted from past pop hits. Still, this track could get licensed for a, say, Women’s World Cup bumper or car commercial:

Déjà Vu

Diamonds

The untz of house may always be a monotonous headache for the un-candied, but this relatively under-the-radar pop sledgehammer has some refreshing tempo and chord changes. Of course, the lyrical motif is the same damn thing Rihanna did in 2012 (which wasn’t exactly new to begin with) [LISTEN]:

Diamonds

Don’t Let Go

This one aims for the minor-key, serious singer-songwriter vibe. It doesn’t add anything new to house or pop music (particularly in the lyrics). Still, due partly to the eight-chord progression, it’d impress quite well if it were among your first impressions of either genre:

Don't Let Go

Right Here, Right Now

Disco-funk meets the side-chained synths of EDM, and it all goes awry here. Kylie’s addition feels ‘hollow pop song’ thematically, but more importantly, her voice irritates. While this is decently catchy, it’s still one of the lesser tracks here: [LISTEN]

Right Here, Right Now

Tempted

Literally two seconds into the song, you know how the rest of it will go without a shadow of a doubt. Here it’s the “Fuck You”/“Eight Days a Week”/“Stay With Me”/general summery Gospel chords. They’re then formatted through made-for-radio Moroder-house program v1.2:

Tempted

74 is the New 24

Giorgio takes on vocoder duties to give a sci-fi robot feel to this geezer-pride track (because “30 is the new 20” is a wussy understatement). Untzes abound on yet another piece of boilerplate dance. There’s really little else to say about it:

74istheNew24

Tom’s Diner

Poor Suzanne Vega (or lucky Suzanne Vega, financially). After getting her classic “Tom’s Diner” sampled half-assedly (and unnecessarily) in Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries,” it’s now getting the super-slow (94 bpm) cinematic-house treatment here. This adaptation earns a solid thumbs-sideways: [LISTEN]

Tom's Diner

Wildstar

The strings actually make this one feel more like disco, and, as result, it’s much more enjoyable. Some of the rounder synths remind of Moroder’s 80’s heyday as Foxes’ Louisa Rose Allen dances herself clean from a former partner to a floor-ready bounce of 128bpm:

Wildstar

Back and Forth

Kelis “[takes] ahold of” the vocals on this love letter to dance music, the genre that’s been soothing souls with its “four-on-the-floor” thump for decades. She sounds near unrecognizable from her “Milkshake” days, thanks to some Macy Gray-esque rasp (which fits better on her own, newer material):

Back and Forth

I Do This for You

Marlene’s single from last year discusses the nuances of her art, letting us know there’s more than what sits on the “pretty” surface through digital, modern-social-media metaphors (and possibly literal-isms). This is just Moroder’s trap-house remix of that track. It is tasteful, though;

I Do This for You

La Disco

Although it’s supposedly an instrumental, Moroder’s obscured vocoder-ing sounds like either French or some other Romance language. I hate to say it, but the first 1.5 minutes sounds exactly like David Guetta’s “Turn Me On” (it’s much, much less of a headache, though):

[Instrumental]