Alex Valentini – Beautiful Life (Archivio Fonografico Moderno)

The Italo archive isn’t only made of mega-producers, but also of millions of records made without Miami-induced dreams or starry-eyed fantasies. Originally released in 1985, and written and produced by a team of relative unknowns, Alex Valentini’s Beautiful Life is one such charming example of a record that really shaped Italo Disco’s identity as a genre, in its most realistic incarnations. The record comes from the passionate underworld of private radios and summer parties in provincial Tuscany, where Valentini worked as a DJ before and after this magnificent fluke of a track.

Stark and tormented but boyishly awkward, “Beautiful Life” is a melancholy Italo piece where everything sounds right: just the right dose of minimal angularity, the right brush of tropical suggestions, the right cheapness, the right sadness, and the right emotion, to use an Italo word. The utterly mysterious lyric is stated almost matter-of-factly by Valentini, accompanied by a powdery, unpretentious female voice that sentimentally utters words we will never really understand. After recent beauties such as Decadance’s “On and On (Fears Keep On)” and B.W.H.’s “Livin’ Up”, this is another blessing from Archivio Fonografico Moderno, made all the more special by re-edits from Italoconnection and Flemming Dalum. This is one for the arrival of summer, and there’s enough of it to keep you dancing until September.