2 February 2017, No. 233, Gaz Nevada, ‘I.C. Love Affair (Munk Edit)’

“Ooh, ’77. Ooh, she gave me heaven,” intones whomever’s singing for Gaz Nevada (or Gaznevada, depending on the release; the name derives from Raymond Chandler’s short story “Nevada Gas”) on “I.C. Love  Affair (Munk Edit).” Apparently the group was nostalgic for Italy’s Movement of ’77, during which demonstrations in Gaz Nevada’s hometown of Bologna turned bloody. Police killed a member of Lotta Continua, and Sartre spoke up, as did Foucault, de Beauvoir, Barthes, and Deleuze and Guattari.

A month after 100,000 people gathered for the violence-free National Convention Against Repression, also in Bologna, Gaz Nevada formed as a punk rock band with a situationist bent. Maybe that sardonic and absurdist outlook is what motivated them six years later to steal outright from the Bee Gees and use falsetto vocals to augment Fawsia’s backups on “I.C. Love Affair.” The nasally Bee Gees thing is quite clear in the line “Ooh, she gave me heaven,” and while the vocals are way up there in the stratosphere, I think the tongue was firmly in cheek.

Gaz Nevada’s origins in punk rock, no wave, and political art may have given them the seemingly counterintuitive impetus to make Italo disco. Sort of like the Beastie Boys decided a punk rock thing to do would be to make a rap record, I can see Gaz Nevada sitting around saying, “You know, disco’s been driven back underground. Wouldn’t it be transgressive to make some?” Thankfully they weren’t the only ones thinking along those lines, and there are bunch of great records like this.

The Munk edit featured here is from a compilation of material from Italian Records (and its imprints) called Confuzed Disco, the second disc of the CD version of which comprises edits and remixes. Among other italo records with a no wave feel, at least one of them is also on the Confuzed Disco comp; in the early 500s we’ll have an NOIA’s  “True Love (Sexual Version).”

Munk’s take on “I.C. Love Affair” is a little too obviously edited for effect, but I guess that was the style in 2006 when the compilation was released. There are too many repeated single beats, and the eighth notes after the vocal section in the last two minutes make the edit feel too modern for my tastes. Which is not to say I didn’t use some of that stuff in my own mixtape edit. Can’t everything feel old and dusty all the time.

Give a listen. History and editing aside, the synths here are bouncy without ebullience, and that’s what got the song on the list in the first place. Yeah.