Il Guardiano del Faro – Domani, 1977

Il Guardiano del Faro (“the lighthouse keeper”), aka Federico Monti Arduini, was a very prolific Italian musician, composer, and producer who was credited as an early adopter of the Moog synthesizer. Despite having had a slew of best-selling songs in Italy, there’s very little information available about him on the internet–I don’t even remember how this wound up in my hands! Really smart orchestral sensibility applied to lush, synthetic space-age smooth jazz fusion. Ideal cheeky retro-futurist bachelor pad soundtrack. Don’t miss the syrupy quivering cover of “I Only Have Eyes for You.”

Wally Badarou – Echoes, 1984

Wally Badarou is a legend. Paris-born and Benin-raised, he was part of the Compass Point Studios in-house recording team in the Bahamas; was a session musician for Grace Jones, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Herbie Hancock, Level 42, Black Uhuru, Gwen Guthrie, Robin Scott, Talking Heads, Tom-Tom Club, Robert Palmer, and Manu Dibango; and produced for Fela Kuti, Salif Keita, and Marianne Faithfull, among many, many others. Echoes is an entirely instrumental, almost comically smooth piece of electronic funk wizardry. You’ve probably heard the single “Chief Inspector” in a million DJ sets, but the whole album is mixtape ready. Take it to the beach, y’all.

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Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick, 1979

Raindrops, whale sounds, Tibetan bells, Fender Rhodes, guitars, arp, and Moog make up this wild style synth head-trip and seminal ambient album. Steve Hillage and long-time partner Miquette Giraudy perform triumphantly here. Wordless music at its best, and essential listening for all synth psychonauts.


Tomita – Snowflakes Are Dancing, 1974

I’m posting this jewel in celebration of the first real snowfall we have had this year in Brooklyn. Considered an early example of proto-synthesizer-pop, Snowflakes are Dancing is Isao Tomita’s fantastical renditions of Debussy on a Moog synthesizer. It’s a masterpiece. For a bunch of interesting facts like all the Grammy awards this record won and how influential it is, check out the Wikipedia article.

I wouldn’t recommend this for casual listening. Put on some headphones, close your eyes, and let Tomita take you on a journey to whatever planet he’s from. So happy to share this with you.

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