CH.OP. (Channel Operators)


Best Record Italy • 2022

»The first original artists’ album in over 40 years« – Best Record, or rather Best Record Italy, the sub-label of Rome’s traditional label for Italo Disco, thus promotes »Fantasy«. The LP by Cosimo Mandorino and Raffaele Arcella, who appear here as CH.OP., short for Channel Operators, could well be 40 years old. Traditional characteristics of Italo Disco such as the omnipresent slap bass, vocoder gimmicks and striking synth motifs, which would add style to any melee between Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, can be found on all seven tracks. The opener »Let It Go«, somewhat straightened out and possibly without the Falco-like intonation, could also find its way onto a Full Pupp release, and on »Software On Request«, enchanting rim shots rattle out of the 808 as a prelude. The title track as track number three features a female voice for a change, sharing the limelight with an exuberant saxophone. The song and especially the chorus are among the most successful moments on an album that logically seems to have stepped out of time. In itself, of course, it’s not a crime for an Italo Disco lover to produce a record from this genre. But neither the funk on »Macho Pas Macho« nor the dub on »Dub Fantasy«, which dispatches the title track into an echo chamber, seem entirely purposeful. Maybe they don’t have to be; the production quality of this absenteeism made into sound speaks for itself.