Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Exotic and Erotic by Sandy Marton

The italo-disco genre is unusual.  Not only did it eventually spread throughout Europe and evolve into what we today call "Eurodance", but even when it was somewhat localized, not all of the artists were really Italian (Taffy was from New York, for instance.  The lead-singer for Baltimora was Irish--although the rest of the band was Italian.  Fancy was German.  And Sandy Marton was Aleksandar Marton, born in Zagreb in what was then Yugoslavia and what is now Croatia.  Produced and marketed in northern Italy as part of the italo-disco fad, in 1984 Sandy Marton had a hit in several countries (#1 in Italy, but it also charted in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, and Switzerland.)  "People From Ibiza" is generally his only well-known song today.  His single output was compiled into a single album, released in 1986, but he never really had another hit like "People From Ibiza."  A few of his other songs charted (although not particularly highly) in Italy, and "Exotic and Erotic" charted in a few markets.  The lyrics tell a rather muddled story of a soldier who gets drunk and conned by a "honey trap" style exotic tropical girl in Singapore.

While the lyrics (as in most italo-disco songs) are muddled and barely intelligible to native English speakers, also as is typical of the genre, the song itself is infectious, cheery, and fun, as well as highly danceable.  No doubt meant to be little more the disposible 80s club music, Marton has--as has much of the italo-disco genre in general--picked up an enduring cult following in the years since, and I--well, heck, I guess I belong to the cult.  I think italo-disco is fun, and I still have a fair bit on my phone.  Sure, it's a bit on the breezy, disposible side compared to synthpop from the same time-frame, but in reality, the two genres share much more than they don't. 

I first heard "Exotic and Erotic" as part of a "megamix" called Lo Mejor de Gapul, which was a spanish language and probably bootleg compilation put together in 1987 or so.  Since this was the "seed" from which I discovered and eventually hunted down most of the italo-disco genre that I have, the tracks on that original megamix were the first ones I found.  In that sense, "Exotic and Erotic" holds an important place in my own journey to discover the entire genre.

Sandy Marton himself, though, is probably not really very important, even in the relatively small pond of italo-disco artists.  It's generous to call him more than a one-hit wonder.

1 comment:

  1. So it seems no one's commented on this blog (or maybe they did, but comments were purged at some point--I don't know), and that you're not updating it anymore, but I wanted to say that I really enjoyed going through your archives. I've been a fan of the genre for a long time, but I wasn't familiar with a lot of the more obscure stuff you posted here. Good show, though I'm disappointed that my favorite (along with Ultravox), Heaven 17, never got any love.