Italian disco legend plans first album in 30 years

Giorgio Moroder, one of the pioneers of synthesized dance music, has announced his first album in three decades with the declaration: "74 is the New 24."

Italian disco legend plans first album in 30 years
Giorgio Moroder, one of the pioneers of synthesized dance music, has announced his first album in three decades. Photo: Swimfinfan

The 74-year-old Italian producer said that his album, to be released early next year, will feature a collaboration with prominent singers including Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX and Sia.

The gray-haired Moroder released a first track from the album on Monday entitled "74 is the New 24," which is driven by a pulsating dance beat as a computerized voice repeats the catch-phrase in the song's title.

"Dance music doesn't care where you live. It doesn't care who your friends are. It doesn't care how much money you make. It doesn't care if you're 74 or if you are 24 because 74 is the new 24," Moroder said in a statement announcing the still-untitled new album.

Starting in the late 1960s, Moroder was one of the first musicians to use synthesizers to create dance beats and melodies, which spawned a genre that packed nightclubs.

Moroder's production skills became well-known in the disco era when he co-wrote a series of songs with Donna Summer including the 1975 smash hit "Love to Love You Baby," which was characterized by its erotic moans and funky guitar.

Moroder, who started his career in Germany and later moved to Los Angeles, eventually refined his electronic dance sound with his own albums, some released under the stage name Munich Machine.

At the same time, Moroder produced some of the most memorable hits of the 1980s including Blondie's "Call Me" and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" from the movie "Top Gun."

He has won three Oscars – for the songs "Take My Breath Away" in 1986 and "What a Feeling" from the 1983 album "Flashdance" as well as for best original score for the 1978 film "Midnight Express."

While he stopped recording albums in the 1980s, Moroder returned last year to collaborate with French electronic duo Daft Punk on the Grammy winning album "Random Access Memories."

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Italian Eurovision winner tests negative for drugs

Damiano David, the frontman of Italy's Eurovision winners Maneskin, has passed a drug test he took on Monday to clear his name after speculation that he had snorted cocaine at the song contest's grand final.

Italian Eurovision winner tests negative for drugs
Damiano David of Maneskin performs at the Eurovision final. Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

A drug test was “voluntarily undertaken earlier today by the lead singer of the band Måneskin which has returned a negative result seen by the EBU”, the European Broadcasting Union announced on Monday evening. 

“No drug use took place in the Green Room and we consider the matter closed,” the EBU said in a statement, adding that it had checked all available video footage as part of “a thorough review of the facts”.

READ ALSO: Italian Eurovision winners ‘really offended’ by accusations of drug use

David, who was shown on camera leaning over a table backstage in what some speculated could be drug use, had strongly denied the allegations. 

He said the footage showed him sweeping up some glass broken by one of his bandmates.

Måneskin with their trophy after winning the final of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest. Photo: Sander Koning / ANP / AFP

There had been calls for “total transparency” from officials in France, which came a close second in the song contest, after the clip went viral following Saturday’s final in the Netherlands.

The French minister for Europe said that drug use should be grounds for disqualification, though the head of France’s public broadcasting group said they did not plan to challenge the result.

David told interviewers he was “really offended” by the speculation, which he said had marred Italy’s first Eurovision victory in 31 years.

“We are alarmed that inaccurate speculation leading to fake news has overshadowed the spirit and the outcome of the event and unfairly affected the band,” the EBU said, adding that it was looking forward to “a spectacular Eurovision Song Contest in Italy next year”.