Alexander Robotnick, legendary synth wizard of early ’80s proto-house and early pioneer of Italo-disco and electro is back again in 2021 with four volumes of Radio Versions. You have to hand Robonick all of the plaudits for creativity and devotion to the underground electronic music scene, along with his individualism and focus that have cemented him into history during a 40+ years career in music. He is relentless and is owed a great debt of recognition for paving the way for a range of musics and culture.
This year, Robotnick has compiled a range of his work across four volumes of the series Radio Versions. It spans his expansive catalogue, right up to now, as the artist continues to tinker in his studio. The four volumes take the listener on a curated tour of an artist, obviously best-known for Problèmes d’Amour, that further enhances our understanding of a true composer in his own realm.
Problèmes d’Amour was a track that irreversibly changed the context of dance music – captivating soon-to-be techno visionaries in Detroit and sewing fertlile roots for house music in Europe and Chicago – capturing a epoch moment in 1983 and standing apart ever since as one of the seminal dance records.
Each volume contains seven tracks apiece, combining choices from the archive, personal favourites, as well as Robotnick’s own electronic jazz covers, on Volume 4.
Volume 1 was released on his own Hot Elephant Music label, featuring tracks from Robotnick’s archives, with the exception of Je t’Envoie – which is taken from Oh…No Robotnick!.
Volume 2 features more archival tracks, except Fischio. And on Radio Versions Vol. 3, Robotnick picks some of his favourite tracks, starting with Les Grands Voyages De L’amour that dates back to the early ‘80s, first released on Rare Robotnick’s (2003) and then on vinyl via Hot Banana. It also features Can I have an Ashtray? (the track Robotnick produced his first video for in 2010), as well as Obsession for the Disco Freak.
Undicidisco is the biggest hit of the third volume – boosted by JV’s re-edit released on vinyl – alongside Alienation from Oh No…Robotnick!, plus You Have Time and It Was Like a Dream, both taken from his Music For An Imaginary Club series (2015/2016).
Radio Versions Vol. 4 compiles a further eight tracks of covers and own productions, including Robotnick’s covers of Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage, John Coltrane’s Impressions and Miles Davis’ Freddie Freeloader, plus five other original tracks, all of which are shorter radio versions of tracks from Music For an Imaginary Club.
Robotnick has always appreciated modal jazz of the 1960s, but hadn’t practiced it since his early studies in music in the ‘70s, here he reinterprets those classic tunes in his own unique style.
As you will hear, Robotnick’s diversity of productions across these four volumes are a must listen for scholars, spotters, heads and aficianados alike, and of course, those newly schooled on one of the most important electronic music artists of all time.
For more, visit the legend on his official site, featuring a range of interviews and essential content.