ALEX PUDDU; Night People (Al Dente Music)

There’s a clutch of European music makers who’ve mastered the art of crafting classy retro sounding  soul so beloved of the more mature (sophisticated?) club goers who still love the classic sounds of those great 80s weekenders. Of course there’s Mario Biondi; then, naturally, Cool Million. That duo have been around for some time and modern soul connoisseurs eagerly await any new music from them. More recently we enjoyed some wonderful tunes from the Terri Green Project while the more savvy soul crew will be familiar with the work of Italian producer/multi-instrumentalist ALEX PUDDU who’s just released this, his latest album, which includes plenty of those retro-flavoured soul sounds.

‘Night People’ is a concise 10 tracker. However, five of the tracks have already been released as singles. They are ‘Call Me’-  a proper Weekender dance sound; Victim Of Love’ – a  little more restrained but sweet and soulful in that Weekender 80s way; ‘Leaving This Town’ which seems to draw inspiration from the likes of the Bee Gees’ ‘Spirits Having Flown’, GQ’s ‘Disco Nights’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’; ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ – the title says it all; and ‘Future Woman’.– heavily electro and a little different to Puddu’s usual disco-inflected work (we’ve learned that the track is Puddu’s homage to Sheffield new-wave Synth-Pop band Heaven 17!)

So what about the new tracks? Well, ‘Night Magic’ is Alex’s attempt at a slow jam; ‘Miami 77’ is a breezy smooth jazz instrumental; ‘If You Desire’ is another slower outing; ‘Le Diable En Moi’, is a catchy Euro dancer with breathy semi-spoken French vocals courtesy of Lady Purr; and ‘Bikini Fantasy’ – another instrumental, the title of which might not please too many people these days!

Helping Signor Puddu deliver his music (his fantasy?) are the cream of Italy’s session players and a bevy of top vocalists. We’ve already mentioned the breathy Lady Purr (an apt name for sure!) but of particular note is Philly soul man CaiNo (aka Marcus) who channels a remarkable Michael Jackson sound on his tracks.

Alex Puddu’s ‘Night People’ is out now.

(BB) 3/5