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Further to my decision to reacquaint myself with the quality end of disco (mainly of the Italo variety, early to mid 80s), I gorged on blogs and rapidshare links in a frenzy. One of my most enduring discoveries has been French/Italian singer Valerie Dore, best known for two singles ‘The Night’ and ‘Get Closer’ – virtually identical in arrangement but with different vocal performances. Both tracks (actually sung by Italian singer Dora Carofiglio, Dore mimed as performance front woman) achieved European chart success, though notably not in the UK.

Although part of the Italo-disco scene, this is more dream-pop. The wistful, languid beauty that is missing in much of today’s electro-pop but finds parallels (aesthetically if not sonically) in shoegaze bands that followed such as Mazzy Star and My Bloody Valentine. Starry-eyed with a faint tang of melancholy, rich in a tone that washes through you and over you. Sumptuous, luxurious and a little sad.

Contemporary equivalents are hard to place. The brief shoegaze revival has brought Ulrich Schnauss and Maps to the fore but the former seems a little impersonal and the latter (for me) failed to transcend run-of-the-mill indie-pop.

For me, Fever Ray has been the one act of late to touch on the certain ethereal quality of dream-pop. Admittedly the timbres are a little more visceral but the spirit manages to transport the listener into that ‘other’ state reserved such music with a nebulous, wondrous magic. I covered her album recently, but now I have an excuse to post more of her music:

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