It's always shocking when a record you've been after gets a quality repress. Thanks to Josh Cheon of Dark Entries Records, two hard to find Italo classics from Italian studio project Helen are available again. The project existed in various formations of producers, songwriters, and vocalists from Italy in the 1980s. "Witch" was the first single from the project and included popular Italo producers Piero Cairo and Massimo Noe, known for their work with Joe Yellow, Den Harrow, Pink Project, and Dharma to name a few. In demand Italo vocalist Elena Ferretti rounded out the group and contributed the cover art, as well. The track was originally released in 1983 and incorporates Linndrum and Simmons drums to create a driving backing track for Ferretti's powerful vocals. An altogether classic slice of Italo disco. The second incarnation of the project took a somewhat different direction. Writers Ennio Ronchelli and Roberto Barocelli teamed up with singer Daniela Paratici for the 1985 slow burner, "Zanizbar." The group was heavily influenced by the Afro cosmic sound that was championed by Italian DJs like Beppe Loda and Daniele Baldelli. DJ Daniele Losi and Roberto Lodola produced the included "Afro Mix" of the track with additional live hand drums and sticks by Nigerian percussionist George Aghedo. Another choice repress from Dark Entries, including remastering from George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Housed in the the original jacket from the "Witch" maxi single, includes fold out poster. Recommended.
- music label: Dark Entries 2014