Found a CD the other day which I thought I’d lost; ‘Rare Robotnick’s’ is a compilation of tracks Maurizio Dami (aka Alexander Robotnick) wrote, mostly between 1982-4, released on Robotnick’s Hot Elephant label. It includes the original demo version of ‘Problèmes D’Amour’ plus ‘Les Grands Voyages De L’Amour’. There are loads of other great tracks on there, ranging from the melancholy to the mechanical.
It’s great when musicians list the equipment they used; according to the liner notes, his studio consisted of a Roland TR-606, TB-303 and TR-808, a Korg Mono/Poly, Boss DR-55, and a Roland tape echo. Because he worked in a windowless basement he called his studio “the crypt” (which makes the photo above all the better for looking like he stepped off a Dario Argento set) and there’s a track on the CD which is appropriately called ‘The Vampir’. This track sounds like it was inspired by ‘Mr X’ by Ultravox, just as ‘Alleys Of Your Mind’ by Cybotron was. But unlike ‘Mr X’ and ‘Alleys Of Your Mind’, ‘The Vampir’ has a sense of playfulness.