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The Beat’s Alive: Gazebo Hits the Reset Button on ‘Blindness’

Photo Credit: Gazebo.
Photo Credit: Gazebo.

Italo Disco star Paul “Gazebo” Mazzolini, known best for his classic cuts like “Midnight Cocktail,” “I Like Chopin,” and “Lunatic,” recently released “Blindness,” his first single off his forthcoming album Reset. Vehlinggo readers might be aware of my love for the black-tie, baroque-infused Italo Disco that Gazebo offers the world, and on the new single he keeps that spirit alive.

The song’s mid-tempo groove, twinkling pianos, synthesizer noodlings, and tempered, fuzzy guitars delicately support a voice that has stayed in remarkable shape over the past three decades. The wisdom of the years do show, though, on the song’s lyrics, which contemplate doubt, acceptance, and ignorance in ways his 20-something self wasn’t likely to care about when he was selling 8 million copies of “Chopin.”

One of the more notable things about “Blindness” is how Gazebo tackles that constant dilemma most classic artists face when they release new songs at a time when younger artists are releasing new work that is inspired by, if not outright sounds like, the classic artists’ own influential songs.

Do they do mine their classics outright and risk being seen as never evolving, or even reaching boredom, even though the new crop are going so far as to use the original equipment and techniques those pioneers employed?

Italo star Fred Ventura has ventured into newer, more club-oriented dance styles, although he does try to keep the basic framework in place that he used in classics like “The Years (Gone By).”

Depeche Mode and New Order have followed a similar path, marrying some forms of modernity with the styles that made them popular. (We’ll save assessments of the success of their efforts for another time.) They may not be bringing out the vintage gear in the way that their retrosynth successors are, but they realize that in the 2010s it’s better to own up to their legacy somehow.

Gazebo has followed suit in recent years, after a long stint delving into a more guitar-oriented pop sound. On “Blindness,” he hits the reset button and largely sends himself back to his roots.

The song easily could have been on his platinum-selling debut, save for the sizzling guitar that haunts the arrangement. He’s just tidied it up a bit with stuff like virtual instruments and other modern recording techniques, and it works. Fans will be especially pleased.

Reset is scheduled for a September release, according to Gazebo’s Facebook page. The single is available on iTunes, Spotify, and all those other stores. The official video for “Blindness” is below:

(Editor’s Note: The Beat’s Alive is my occasional column focusing on everything associated with the Italo Disco genre, from the artists and their music, to the culture and history that created them, and anything else that comes up. Because I’m predictable, I got the column’s name from a Glass Candy song. Viva Italians!)