The Italians Do It Better stable of artists continues to deliver the goods! The label's second compilation, After Dark 2, shows that there is still plenty to be had. We have not heard from some of these characters since the first installment, but their resurfacing does not disappoint. After Dark 2 is one of those rare compilations that plays out like an album. Some of that feeling is due to Johnny Jewel and his ever expanding production abilities. The contributions from Chromatics and the return of Glass Candy are indicative of the producer's strengths. He's taken the role of the faceless electro/disco producers of the 1980s, turning out quality tracks like nobody's business. Of course there are the touch points you've come to expect, Italo disco and cool female leads, but Jewel's command of the studio has made the sound more muscular and potent. The majority of the compilation carries a sense of heroic longing; anthemic songs celebrating sadness and despair. Even the instrumental cuts carry an air of sentimental doom. The contributions from acts like Mirage and Farah provide welcome distractions from the core of the comp. After Dark 2 is a welcome return from Italians Do It Better. Triple LP pressed on clear vinyl, includes full color insert. CD comes with booklet. Recommended.
- music label: Italians Do It Better 2013