Italian band N.O.I.A. was amongst the first electronic music groups to emerge in the late seventies and early eighties alongside peers like Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode. Nowadays they are re-releasing their back catalogue alongside a carefully curated selection of contemporary remixes and this latest package features two tracks, ‘Rule To Survive’ and ‘Time is Over Me’ with remixes from Kirk Degiorgio, Prins Thomas, Gaudi & The Orb and Baldelli & Dionigi.
In their time N.O.I.A. released on labels like Italian Records, had success both in the live arena but also in the studio and were always evolving throughout their active years, from a raucous and abstract sound into a more accessible outfit that were successfully on the Italian, German and Belgian dance markets.
First up is “The Rule To Survive” (Looking For Love), originally produced by Oderso Rubini and mixed in 1983 by Tony Carrasco at the Regson Sound Recording Studios in Milan. It’s a shiny disco cut with tons of bright synth lines, a real instrumental groove and fantastic melodies that shimmer like a hot sun. Nu-disco king pin Prins Thomas is the first to remix and does so in his usual epic, proggy, rock style with even more guitar licks and reflective synth lines.
Long time techno mainstay Kirk Degiorgio and the man behind London’s Machine parties with Ben Sims then reworks the track into a slow-mo bit of techno with whip lashing percussion, cosmic synth work and a healthy 80s vibe that harks back to the original. Italo Disco legends Baldelli & Dionigi then get to work on the same track, slow it down even further and rebuild it in magical layers of arpeggiated synths before dropping some heavily filtered vocal lines for the true kraut-disco feel.
The second track on this EP is a previously unreleased one dating back to the second half of the 80s. “Time is Over Me”, written by Bruno Magnani and, up until now, recorded only on the old “8-track” stored away in the Piatto brothers’ studio-loft is a truly lush, dreamy and breezy bit of disco with clean and crisp vocals, loveably tinny drums and intergalactic melodies that cannot fail to cheer you up. As well as instrumental and a classic 80s dub version, Gaudi and The Orb turn out a robotised version that is more driven and direct for the dancefloor, with groaning basslines, meandering synths and plenty of dramatic drum tumbles. It’s full of far from banal reggae and electronic citations and atmospheres and closes out an EP that reminds us of some forgotten classics at the same time as providing the world with some amazing contemporary reworks from some of the best in the game.