In case anyone's wondering, this week's disco delivery will be up either later tonight or sometime tomorrow, rest assured, I'm working on it.. In the meantime, I figured why not put something up, instead of leaving you all hanging. A short while ago, I got a suggestion to put up some Tantra, I figured why not just put it up now..
"Hills Of Katmandu" would easily be Tantra's biggest hit. It's one of those amazing, epic tracks that just seems to go beyond classification. An Italian production by Celso Valli (under the alias Quelli Del Castello) it could probably be described as an excellent example of European electro-disco, even an early example of both Hi-NRG and Italo Disco.. Often times it's those tracks which are in genre limbo, so to speak, that seem to be the most timeless and enduring. It was originally released in 1979, yet it would reach the States by 1980 in the early part of that oft-neglected post-disco period. Though, in my opinion, essentially a product of disco, it also seemed to encapsulate the increasingly underground direction that "disco" (as it was no longer being called) would seem to take, even foreshadowing the emergence of Hi-NRG. For me, "Hills of Katmandu" still sounds as fresh and futuristic today as it must have in 1979. It's probably no wonder why, even today, there are contemporary DJ's (Danny Howells and the Idjut Boys to name a couple) that still play this track .
Just to give an idea, at over 16 minutes, the track starts off dark and menacing; with electronic guitars; bold, layered, echoed percussion; eerie moans and those exotic synth effects. Following the intro, a female voice comes in softly, yet aggressively chanting.. "I fly with you to the misty hills of Katmandu.." The next couple of verses come in after an instrumental break.. "Packed my case, gonna leave behind this human race.. come with me, where your spirit and your mind are free.. " With a dreamy, blissful interlude following that, the drug/escapist metaphors start to become pretty obvious, particularly with those lyrics and the shifting musical themes.. After that interlude, it lapses back into it's original dark, rhythmic pattern and then back again later on. It all seems sort of symphonic in it's structure, albeit in a druggy, electronic, disco-esque sort of way.
Patrick Cowley later did a megamix of this, slightly shorter at 13 minutes (which I have yet to hear). I even heard that the hacks at Klone Records did a cover of this (for shame!). In any case, hope you enjoy this classic. Either next week, or the week after I'll have some more Tantra up on here..
"HILLS OF KATMANDU" (LYRICS)
TANTRA @ DISCOGS
TANTRA - THE DOUBLE ALBUM @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
DANNY HOWELLS - GLOBAL UNDERGROUND: MIAMI CD @ AMAZON.COM
CATEGORIES: MINI DELIVERIES