Mid Summer 2009, a very close and longtime friend of mine RC Lair came to my side of town and hung out with me. Before going inside the Ocean Club for drinks, we stayed inside my car to listen to the entire Hale Bopp mix CD which he’d done in the mid 90′s. All the tracks on that CD were retro classics of electric disco/dance/italo ranging from the late 70′s through the mid 80′s. By the time we reached track-05, I was going through the car’s roof from excitement. The track was just THAT awesome … pure electronic analog circuitry … melodic and true to its form and genre its era. And I JUST HAD TO HAVE IT … and own it! So I asked RC who/what that track was, but he couldn’t remember from the top of his head, and he wasn’t going to look through his entire record collection at any time soon, because they were all stored in boxes. Now I was on a serious mission to hunt for a full-length copy of track-05. After six weeks of unsuccessful digging and searching, I still had no name of the artist nor title of the track.
A few days later, my producer friend Peter Hecher exposed me to Casco who was an Italian legend DJ and Italo music producer. I checked out his MySpace page, his main site and all other webpages related to him; listened to all his amazing original/classic Italo tracks; and downloaded few of his old live mix-sets. When listening to one of his Italo mix-sets … low and behold … track-05! Thus immediately I sent Casco an email requesting him to identify track-05 for me. Few hours later he sent me a reply, “Mito – Droid“.
After searching the net for days, I was able to find only bad quality MP3 copies. But just recently, over the net, there was a nice fellow from Europe who had an actual 12-inch record of Mito/Droid and, at my request, was kind enough to record and send me a good quality .wav digital file of it.
However, during the entire period of searching for Mito/Droid, I had discovered that it is in fact a remix of an original 1978 “Droid” track by Automat. According to SongBooks blog:
Automat was a project of a disc, from the Italians Musumarra, Gizzi and Maggi. The first two were members of the pop band La Bottega dell’Arte that was successful in Italy between 1976 and 1984. The “Automat” LP was released in 1978 as a kind of demo Synthesizer MCS70 (Memory Controller Synthesizer 70) built by Maggi. The funny highlight of the LP is the band Droid, who say they were the opening theme of a TV news at TV Globo (Brazil) in the early 80′s. In fact parts of this theme were used twice in television news, in one of them no Globo Esporte noon. This all in it for 81/82. But it was common to the Globo television, since I remember that was used in the novel called “Brilhante”, type in 80/81. There are many more electronic themes that the Globo TV used in the field of the Fantástico.
I was able to find and download the entire Automat album on torrents. There were only four tracks in total, and all of them were in mono. At first I’d thought it was an accident by the person who recorded the album to digital, but in fact the original source of recording was done in mono. So I took the liberty to re-master Automat’s Droid, making it pseudo-stereo, adding true stereo ambient reverbs with independent left/right parameter settings, and enhancing the track’s overall low, mid and high range across its spectrum frequency (by using Waves Linear Phase Multiband plugin, among other RTAS plugins, in Protools). I’ve included both the original/mono and my enhanced re-mastered versions for comparison.
All in all, I find that Droid sounds very similar to Vangelis‘ Pulstar (1976). To my ears, it seems that Droid borrowed heavily from the melody of Pulstar with noticeable variations, although both manage to stand out away from each other at the same time.
As a bonus, I managed to find a great Italo remix of Pulstar by Hipnosis (thank you Beat Electric).
Mito – “Droid” (12″ Remix)…
Title: Droid (12″ Remix)
Label: Zanza Records
Mito – “Droid” (12″ Remix) (mp3)
Automat – “Droid” (Hashmoder Remaster)…
Title: Droid (Hashmoder Remaster)
Year: 1978 (2009)
Label: EMI Odeon
Automat – “Droid” (Hashmoder Remaster) (mp3)
Automat – “Droid” (Original, mono version)…
Title: Droid (Original, mono version)
Label: EMI Odeon
Automat – “Droid” (Original) (mp3)
Vangelis – “Pulstar” (Vangelis original)…
Vangelis – “Pulstar” (mp3)
Hipnosis – “Pulstar” (remix of Vangelis)…
Year: 1982 ?
Hipnosis – “Pulstar” (mp3)
Vangelis in his studio, early 80's.