Giallo Disco’s label heads talk horror, their influences, and upcoming plans
The scads of reissue labels which have appeared over the last few years all seem to have their focus — Death Waltz has a John Carpenter / Fabio Frizzi thing going on, focusing on grimy, creepy things; One Way Static is tackling Wes Craven’s exploitation years; and Waxwork appears to have the ’80s splatter genre tied up. Giallo Disco might be the only label putting out music that fits that soundtrack niche, yet it differs in one notable aspect — these albums aren’t soundtracking anything other than a great dance party.
Situated out of Berlin and Vienna, and respectively ran by Anton Maiof and Gianni Vercetti Balopitas (aka Vercetti Technicolor), Giallo Disco rocks your socks with creepy, yet totally danceable tracks that hearken back to late ’70s and early ’80s analog synth soundtracks. There’s heaps of Moroder here, but everything is still unique. Maiof and Balopitas were both kind enough to answer questions via e-mail about the label and its future plans.
It seems like almost all the labels which have sprung up in the last couple years are focused on putting out soundtracks. You’re doing a different take on that. What was the inspiration?
Anton Maiof: So for me the story goes like this: There used to be this sub label of Kompakt called Fright, who were a little more EBM focussed (that’s Electronic Body Music, kids) but were into the whole horror aesthetic, worshiping at the altar of the holy trilogy of Goblin, Frizzi and Carpenter and most importantly putting stuff out on vinyl. In fact they put out my first ever 12″. Mysteriously, they put out just three releases before closing their doors. You had Minimal Rome, Crème Org, Bunker and others but they put out other kinds of music than just ‘Horror’ Themed. So essentially if no one else was going to do a dedicated horror 12″ label, I guess we figured we’d have to do it.
Vercetti Technicolor: I was into Fulci/Frizzi combinations and generally Zombie movies more than Giallo stuff to be honest but I always liked Giallo scores. There are many similarities between them, especially when composers used electronic instruments.
AM: Basically I’ve got a higher tolerance level for very bad movies it seems.
VT: It’s not because we think it’s the hot thing at the moment but we thought there is no label dedicated to Horror, soundtrack or not. This is the reason we started Giallo Disco.
It’s definitely not an 80s thing only and I never like when people tag this particular genre like that these days. The machines used might be old … but the music is timeless.
Was it just a desire to put out your own material?
AM: We both had problems with labels, requesting stuff and then rejecting it sometimes with very bad communication. It was first and intention to have a platform to release some music that we thought was great and that we had been sitting on for some reason and also to curate and collect as much of this sound as possible. Since starting the label we’ve realised we’re not alone … and never were.
How did the two of you come together to start this label?
VT: I met Anton in Athens back in 2010 when we shared the decks at a really nice party. His words “You walk like a Cop” marked me ever since.
Who designed the very simple, yet very effective logo, and what was its inception?
VT: Eric Adrian Lee, a friend of ours from America designed our logo. We wanted something iconic from the Giallo genre so choosing the razor blade was the perfect thing.
Thus far, everything that’s been released on the label has been your work. Are there any plans in the works for other artists, or is it just too soon to tell?
AM: Yes, definitely, in fact the next five releases will be producers other than ourselves.
All three releases thus far seem to have an influence from which they take off: Goblin with the first release, the Black Gloves EP. I’m guessing John Carpenter for Stockholm Synthdrone and Frizzi for Bay of Blood?
AM: I’d actually never thought of it like that. Stockholm Synthdrone was loosely stolen from a friend’s Facebook status update. Also “Darkroom” is lyrically about siding with your killer, plus it’s funny. Also if you’re going to do a first release on a horror inspired label, it would clearly be called Black Gloves.
For the record, the Bay Of Blood EP has nothing to do with the movie Bay Of Blood. Gianni is from a Greek Island.
VT: I chose a part from the Anthropophagus movie poster as the sound of my Bay Of Blood EP is more zombie oriented plus it shows a bit of sea so you instantly have the “Bay” from the title. The title refers only to an image rather than the Mario Bava film.
Where will the label go next — something more symphonic?
AM: We have a ton of great artists set up for release, most of which have never had a 12″ out before or haven’t for almost a decade. I’m going to keep appearing on the genre film festival circuit as those are ace and like an extended family now. Soon we’ll be doing semi-regular parties in Madrid and Vienna. Sound wise, that is up to our artists.