REVIEW Zombies in Miami ‘Disco Nostalgia (A Marvin & Guy Mix In Space)’ [Permanent Vacation]

Lending a sneak peek into their upcoming album, Zombies in Miami conjures Cosmic Disco agent provocateurs, Marvin & Guy to render an interstellar edit to Disco Nostalgia off of 2712. As disco is a perfect vacation and nostalgia when done right, can be permanent, none other, nor better than Benjamin Fröhlich and Tom Bioly’s Permanent Vacation label launches this sentimental spacial odyssey during a season when imaginations are tested and memories are not just invoked but survival toolkit SOPs.

Zombies dreaming in Disco is not a farfetched tall tale, and in Miami, it is more likely. Though they are yet to reveal the Original Mix, Mexico’s thriving electronic music power couple are not new to the label and have been known on and off decks to interfuse some of the genre’s most dynamic elements – from bit of techno noir to synth-laced house, Italo sentient with a bit of Balearic twist – hitting all the CV requirements for a well-designed nostalgic Disco track to base off of. Fluent in Disco, going way back to their Italo disco origins from which their project initially started, the self-proclaimed “Space Cowboys” are geniuses behind Disco-inspired (literally) releases such as Discoteque or Cowboys Disco and dithyrambic sets with distinctive and elaborately Italo Disco flair. Parma boys Marcello Giordani and Alessandro Parlatore have, through the years in both production and DJing fronts, demonstrated a knack for time traveling to places and times their listeners haven’t necessarily been to, physically, and their reinterpretation of Disco Nostalgia was clearly made in our imagined, for now at least, Space where the concepts of time are never consistent it can only be felt.

Alas, here is a free front seat ticket to the depth of our nostalgic ambitions. PERMVAC2024 ascends in lightspeed, accelerating from 0 to infinity with a celestial overture to polysynth heavens. Set in C# minor key for a subtle wistful feel with a bit of a contrite subconscious, low analog bass kick into the string-laden melody, triggered by a jumpy drum procession and spook, to build up an ingenious retro bassline with prominent syncopated rhythms. A gentle reminder of the socio-cultural turbulence that birthed disco out of necessity in the first-place, maybe?

Polyphonic, polyrhythmic, this Mix in Space gets its cadets thanking the art of symphony as it shakes and shimmies in various fronts, driving forward and arp, in impeccable harmony. The track sustains its catchy, kaleidoscopic groove while elongated synth warps  recoil in and out for some Cosmic voodoo, emitting static voltage to stretch luminous soundwaves radiating in spiral locomotion across universes. Balancing this act, organic electronic guitar riffs strumming in the left ear keep the track grounded as deep-rooted tribal drumming and meaty carpal claps reassure that down is still, Earth. And, that this really isn’t your ordinary Disco track.

As space is a restless playground and effusive soundscapes are constantly being rebirthed, layers of brassy and string synth melodies cavort restlessly in ecstatic tempo. A Daft Punky groove billows intermittently shortly after the first climax, and more lucidly when ushering the track through its short interlude ahead of a feted second act right around the four minute mark. Hurried, the track grows starker and more tense, and to its avail. Breaching into an outlying atmosphere with haste and conviction, a state of euphoric trance is reached right as the track winds down through to its lasting finish.

The present is a fleeting moment in a perpetual race with remembering, but their parallel energies come as close to convergence in a state of Disco Nostalgia. Mix(ed) in Space, Marvin & Guy’s rendition traverses alternate dimensions of time, choreographing a boundless dance in cosmic transcendence = the perfect antidote to regret and the secret to make moments last an infinite lifetime, which we can certainly use more of in these trying times. If 2712 is anything like this remix of Disco Nostalgia, we’re already all for it.

Zombies in Miami’s single Disco Nostalgia (A Marvin & Guy Mix in Space) was released on July 31st, 2020.

Review by Marie J. Floro