When people of the United States think of dance music in the early 80’s, most tend to not look beyond what was on the charts at the time. (In fact, people in the United States are still like that. I know, it’s sad.) So if I ask someone if they’ve heard Kano, most people reply that they think I’m talking about the dude from Mortal Kombat.
Anyway, Kano is probably what bridged the gap for me from funk/electro into the Italo world. I’ve had this album for years but only recently started getting into the Italo side that this album opens the doors to. However, like I said in a previous post, I’m not going to really do album reviews any more. So, here’s a review that I found on Amazon about this album that I feel really does it some justice.
Kano are a revered Italian dance/electronic/disco group that formed in 1979 consisting of Stefano Pulga, Luciatto Nanzatti and Matteo Bonsatto. I had only heard two songs from them before this: Now Baby Now on Struts “Disco Italia” compilation and “Its A War” on Billboards “Dance Hits 1980” cd. “I’m Ready” was a massive dance hit but I have not heard that yet.
“New York Cake” is a super mix of electronics, funk, exciting changes and energetic vocals. Starting from the top: “Can’t Hold Back Your Loving” is a slick, track that turned out to be their only American pop chart hit, making No.89.It would have been perfect for the dance market in 1981.Next up is “She’s A Star”, a very catchy song that has some killer bass and electronics bubbling in the background. The vocals are very male but there are also the background vocals by Lella Esposito, Linda Wesley and Rossanna Casale who provide a sexy female atmosphere to the tracks. “Baby Not Tonight”, not to be confused with the similarly titled track by Macho, is fantastic, a dark synthy intro and pingy synthesiser sounds, good vocals and an all round upbeat, fresh feel.It charted at No.3 in Italy. “Party” begins sounding like it could be on a porno soundtrack but is probably the albums low point…its not terrible, just a little slower and not so invigorating.”Round And Round” is almost an instrumental save the simplistic girly lyrics “move your body up, move your body down, move your body round and round”, but the track is quite funky and for those that are lyrics lovers, you have chosen the wrong genre! This is BODY music…Finally, “Don’t Try To Stop Me” is as funky as it sounds, with vocoder, handclaps, bass guitars and their trademark keyboards bubbling away, a good song released as a non-charting single.
The album peaked at No.53 R and B and No.189 pop in 1981, following from their self titled album in 1980 and 1983’s “Another Life”. The album is wonderfully electronic and I don’t know what the music scene is like in your country, but here in Australia the electro thing is still quite popular and despite this album being 30 years ago, I can see appeal for it in todays market. For fans of elecro, early 80s funk and upbeat, energetic songs. FTG also included a seven minute 12” version of “Can’t Hold Back” that gives us a little more funk in the opening track.The original artwork is retained and songwriting credits are included.No liner notes, sadly, but the fact that this album is released on cd is a top thing.I will definitely be listening to more Kano.
I do like how the reviewer pointed out that “In Australia the electro this is still quite popular and despite this album being 30 years ago, I can see appeal for it in todays market.” I feel this is a pretty accurate statement. When I speak to people from the land down under, they seem to have a different appreciation of all musics than what is currently happening in my area.
All in all, this is a stellar album to add to your collection!
Label: Mirage – WTG 19327
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
A1. Can’t Hold Back (Your Loving)
A2. She’s A Star
A3. Baby Not Tonight
B2. Round and Rounc
B3. Don’t Try To Stop Me
***Bonus***: Can’t Hold Back (Your Loving) (Extended 12″ Single)