Dance Battle! Meet the Warring Milli Vanilli of Italo Disco

Feb 06, 2019 194


Close your eyes and turn on your inner synthesizers, the ones that teleport you to 1985; imagine yourself dancing—Fiorucci-clad, Peroni in hand—someplace dark and thumping and clouded with cigarette smoke, and then stumbling outside into a cobblestoned, chiaroscuroed alley. Tanned, Lurex-swaddled people you've never seen in your life are screaming buona notte as you almost trip over a Vespa kickstand. That's the Italo Disco vibe.

If you're familiar with the pop singer Den Harrow, which you probably aren't, you're likely Italian and approaching retirement age. Or you're American, maybe in your 20s, and into some pretty strange shit. For a few years in the mid-1980s, you couldn't enter a nightclub in Europe without hearing his spooky, soaring refrains. When said fast and often, his name was meant to evoke denaro. Money.

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