Since Anfrando Maiola - KOTO is not with us anymore, I felt the need to share with you some of details about his life...
Once upon a time, in the vibrant world of Italo Disco, there lived a talented musician named Anfrando Maiola, also known as Koto. Anfrando's music had the power to touch the hearts of thousands, and his melodies became the soundtrack to joyous moments and unforgettable memories. Today, as I bring you the story of Anfrando's life, let us embark on a journey filled with warmth and inspiration.

Anfrando Maiola, known by his stage name Koto, was a musical genius whose instrumental Italo disco compositions captured the hearts of millions. Born on February 7, 1954, in Parma, Italy, his passion for music started at a young age. With a focus on instrumental pieces, Koto's songs showcased his mastery of the synthesizer, creating a unique blend of melodies that resonated deeply with his listeners. It was during the magical era of the 1980s that Anfrando's musical genius truly shone, as he became a beacon of light in the Italo Disco scene.
Beyond the realm of music, Anfrando shared a glimpse into his personal life. He revealed that he was happily married to Martina, a German, and although they did not have children, they found joy and companionship in the company of their beloved dog, Jessi. These personal details offered a glimpse into the life of a man whose passion for music was beautifully interwoven with love and warmth.

Anfrando explained that he considered voices to be secondary to the music itself. He believed that instrumental tracks allowed the listener to connect with the melodies on a more personal level. Starting his musical journey as a drummer and later learning piano and synths, Anfrando's talent evolved over the years, leading him to create records that would leave an indelible mark on the music industry.
The name "Koto" was taken from the name of one sound of a keyboard synthesizer. Fascinated by the unique and enchanting quality of the KOTO sound, Anfrando adopted it as his artistic identity. His iconic track "Jabdah" featured a captivating voice, but it wasn't his own. The voice was recorded in the studio by a speaker and then embellished with effects to create a mesmerizing auditory experience.

With an impressive array of instruments, including the TR 808-BASS LINE-SEQUENCER MC 500 ROLAND, OBERHEIM-KORG LAMBDA, and lately VIRUS-NORDLEAD-SUPERNOVA, Anfrando's studio became a sanctuary for his creative process.
Collaborations with other artists were relatively rare for Anfrando. He mainly focused on re-making songs, such as Vangelis' "Pulstar '83," which was published with Hipnosis. Anfrando's arrangements breathed new life into these tracks, ensuring their continued appreciation by audiences.
When asked about his favorite Italo songs , Anfrando expressed a fondness for songs like "Self Control" and "Dolce Vita."
Among Anfrando's impressive repertoire, "Visitors" stood out as a masterpiece that resonated deeply with audiences worldwide. When questioned about his favorite songs, he expressed a strong affinity for "Visitors" due to its immense popularity and undeniable catchiness.

The process of creating a successful song, according to Anfrando, varied in time and creative energy. Some days were more fruitful than others, but he believed that a truly exceptional idea struck him immediately, even though it didn't guarantee success.
In the unpredictable world of music, there was no formula for creating a successful song. Anfrando acknowledged that the industry often resembled a lottery, with some artists achieving widespread recognition while others struggled.
Amidst one stormy day, Anfrando made a heartfelt decision. Filled with determination, he declared, "STOP... KOTO IS STILL ALIVE!" His passion burned brightly, igniting a creative fire within him. Collaborating with the talented individuals at TMMC, including Beppe Barilli, Alex Nocera, Gigi Montanini, and their remarkable team, Anfrando set forth to breathe new life into the beloved Koto project.

Anfrando recognized the importance of honoring Italo Disco's distinctive sound. He understood the challenges faced by artists attempting to recreate the nostalgic magic of the past with modern technology. Yet, despite the difficulties, he remained committed to infusing his music with the essence of Italo Disco. Anfrando's determination to strike a balance between creativity, commercial viability, and technological advancements showcased his unwavering love for the genre and his desire to create music that resonated with his devoted audience.
In the realm of today's disco scene, Anfrando admitted that he hadn't had much time to explore the current landscape. His focus was primarily on the "KOTO STILL ALIVE" project, pouring his heart and soul into its realization. His unwavering dedication to his craft was evident, and his commitment to bringing the joy of Italo Disco to his loyal fans remained steadfast.

As he had reached the end of his life journey, I must express my heartfelt gratitude to Anfrando Maiola, also known as Koto, for gracing us with his presence and sharing his extraordinary story.



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01.05.2023, along with the Labor Day celebration, today we are also looking forward to the second anniversary of Radio Italo Disco Net!
Thank you for hanging out with us for the past two exciting years. Although a lot of time has passed since the eighties, the time when our favorite musical styles - Italo Disco and High Energy - were created, we promote them even now, in 2023.
If you want to remember the first moments, when the radio station started broadcasting, here is the recording: https://mega.nz/file/jw02wBYL#2WlIo0DCRkD5iAVAw8EEn69eYGvZCcXjobDhdhFsS_A
A warm greeting from the radio team that will continue to produce a radio program for you - Mon: Marko Povalej, Tue: sixth grade students, Wed: Mario Seslek, Thu: Smiljan Banjac, Fri: Alen Milkovic, Sat: Marko Nestorovic and Sun: Alen Makaronov. Ciao!





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It happened in 1987. (New Year) when I found out about Italo Disco music. I was just 14, but I knew something special happened to me - I became addicted to beauty, harmony, and sound of this really remarkable part of disco music. First songs I heard were Albert One - For Your Love, Radiorama - Hey Hey / Aliens, Why Not - Smile, Mike Mareen - Love Spy, Latin Lover - Laser Light, Italian Boys - Gigolo, Robby Hood - Two Of Hearts etc...

There were groups that belong to German Disco, such as Modern Talking - Brother Louie, Fancy - Lady Of Ice / Bolero, C. C. Catch - Heartbreak Hotel / Heaven And Hell, Silent Circle - Touch In The Night, Bad Boys Blue - You're A Woman...

Very popular, 3rd part of  of disco music, we called Canadian Disco, or shortly Canada, but in fact we were thinking of Hi-NRG: Patrick Cowley with legendary hit Menergy, Bobby Orlando - Whisper To A Scream, Divine - Shot Your Shoot, Girly - Working Girl, The Flirts - Passion / Helpless, Trans X - Living On Video..

There was quite a terminological mess as it still is all over the world. For example, German label ZYX published songs of German groups under the name "The Best Of Italo Disco"!? So is German Disco the same as Italo Disco or? Actually I differ Italo Disco and Italian Disco. So I call all of disco music production that we listen to Italo Disco. According to Bernhard Mikulski, the author of the term, it doesn' represent music from Italy, but music genre. Why Italo? It's because most of songs came from Italy. On the other hand, Italian Disco means Italo Disco songs made only in Italy.

Italo Disco (or Euro Disco) = music from Europe - Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Swiss, Sweden, Spain, England...
Italo also has one substyle, but not acording by the country where it was created, but more by feeling that it creates - it is travelling through the space, so it is called Space Disco. I would exclude Disco music from 70's from the term Italo Disco since it sounds different, but basically the idea is very similar.

HI-HRG = music mostly from America - USA, Canada, England (England is, from a musical point of view, very strange country, often doesn't fit into European music, it is more similar to America, not only regarding disco style but other styles too...)






Italian Disco: 1983 - 1988 + 20** production :)

[Eddy Huntington] [Den Harrow] [Fred Ventura] [Radiorama] [Lala] [Valerie Dore] [Fun Fun]


German Disco: 1984 - 1988

[Mike Mareen] [Fancy] [Modern Talking] [Linda Jo Rizzo] [Patty Ryan] [C. C. Catch] [Lian Ross]


Spanish Disco/Sabadell Sound: 198? - 1988

[David Lyme] [Daydream] [Kristian Conde] [Julia Claire] [Alan Cook] [Green Ice] [Steve Clark]


Space Disco/SpaceSynth/SynthDance/SpaceDance/Italo Instrumentals: 1984 - 200*

[Laserdance] [Koto] [Proxyon] [Cyber People] [Hypnosis] [Syntech] [The Why Not]






HI-NRG (USA & England): 1980 - 1988

[Patrick Cowley] [Pete Burns] [Bobby Orlando] [Divine] [The Flirts] [Roni Griffith] [Modern Rocketry]


Canadian Disco (HI NRG from Canada): ???? - ????

[Gillian Lane] [Stephanie Wells] [Trans-X] [Valerie Krystal] [Lime] [Susan Stevenson] [Suzy "Q"]

Many of the #1 records in North America were produced in Canada, and often licensed by USA and European labels so many DJs started calling it Canadian Disco, also some Italian producers lived in Canada (Giovanni D'Orazio, Antonio Bentivegna...) and made music there. So one more reason to call all of it Italo :)





Spacesynth, synthdance, spacedance, spacedisco or whatever you want to call it is instrumental upbeat synth music that focuses on melodies instead of rhythm. Driving basslines, catchy synth riffs, sci-fi influences and futuristic track titles and album covers have always been a major part of spacesynth.

Spacesynth originated in the mid 80's. At that time synthesizers and electronic sounds had become an essential part of popular music and were widely used by such artists as Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk and Art of Noise. Synthpop hits like Magnetic Fields 2, Pulstar and Magic Fly are well known tracks even today.

In the meantime in Italy a music style called Italo disco was dominating discos. Basically Italo Disco consists of rather simple vocals, melodic synth riffs and a four-to-floor beat. It had that recognizable 80's disco sound that people either love or hate these days.

Italo disco became popular in other parts of Europe too. At first spacesynth was just an instrumental version of Italo Disco focusing on the synth side of Italo Disco. But eventually it became a genre of its own. Cyber People released successful singles "Polaris" and "Void Vision" for the Memory Records label. Koto developed his own Italo-inspired synth music style and the single "Visitors" was a big hit in 1985.

Soon after there were other similar groups - also outside of Italy. Erik van Vliet from The Netherlands established Laserdance and together with Michiel van der Kuy Laserdance became the most successful spacesynth group ever. Their debut album "Future Generation" (1987) sold approximately 150 000 copies and the singles "Powerrun" and "Humanoid Invasion" were big hits in Europe. Koto and Laserdance could be considered the most popular spacesynth groups. They set the standards of the genre and since the golden era of spacesynth many producers have tried to replicate that sound.






So after first obsession with all of Italo, some songs were stressing their quality. I was really impressed with Mike Mareen, and the best song Love Spy. Many various sounds implemented into harmonic complex where energy simply bursts. Seems like in that song, the same as Mozzart - Money, we can find beginnings of music we even didn't know that will appear - EuroDance. Very fast, energetic rhythm with modern technical improvement gives perfect results. We can be happy to live in presence. I wonder what will the future bring...

And here we are - three big Italo fans from Croatia:


The greatest Italo Disco fans from Croatia

Me (Alen) and my friends: Denis & Zeljko


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