Thursday, July 9, 2020
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Title: Sleeping City
Format: CD
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Distributor: Mannequin
Rated: *****
Formed in 1982 in Ferrara, Italy, Intelligence Dept released only two demos ("Sleeping city" 1984 and "The big trouble" 1985) and participated in 1984 to an LP compilation titled "A white chance", along with Go Flamingo! (I still dig a lot their song "Come closer") and Plastic Trash. Intelligence Dept included three tracks picked up from their first demo: "Anger", "Too late to love" and "Sleeping city". One of the main characteristics of their music was to mix a bouncing wave bass guitar, synth pads and leads, drum machine beats, sax solos and the female voice of Susanna Zaghi. No guitars involved. Their choice to use instruments producing low/mid frequencies affected their sound making it sound smooth and sometimes sensual, Deeply influenced by new wave and with a good dose of pop melodies (I don't know why but listening to their tracks I thought about Altered Images, even if the latter were so pop) The four original tracks of their first demo (the fifth was a nice version of Psychedelic Furs' "Sister Europe", track that originally already a sax solo line which fit really well the band's sound) are capable to show a band in balance from sunny pop wave with dancey attitude (like the main track) to synth wave upbeat tempos with mysterious atmospheres (like "Anger). Their second demo tape showed a band that changed a bit their sound, shifting toward a kind of electro wave that sometimes recalls me of Propaganda (like on "Chains" and "Where are you"). Intelligence Dept played live mostly on their region if I'm not wrong and here (on the CD) you can check four live tracks recorded live in 1985 from the mixing board at the Arena Nuovo, Ferrara. Along with "Too late to love" and "Sleeping city" you can check two unreleased songs, "Nine faces" (an atmospheric mid tempo) and "Black widow" (an upbeat synth wave song with funk bass lines). These are nice songs for fans but I'd stick more on their first demo which is really deserving a proper distribution, even 27 years later. Thanks to Anna Logue Records and to Mannequin, now this is possible and you can choose the format that fits you best from CD and vinyl.


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