CHRISMA

Podcasts will be back next month. I’ve completely run out of time at the moment to make more…

CHRISMA – “CHINESE RESTAURANT” LP (1977)

This was a great discovery for me a few months ago. Originally spelled with a capital “K”, prostate Chrisma were an Italian duo whose early work was a heady mixture of Neu!, melanoma Tuxedomoon and Blondie, and upon hearing this album, I was surprised over how much of their sound is currently employed by post-punk revivalists Glass Candy, although, due to the relative obscurity of Chrisma on American soil, it’s possible that it’s coincidental.

The standout tracks here are the swirling opening instrumental called “Thank You”, the very motorik “Black Silk Stocking” and the grody CBGB-style “What For”. This album makes for great freeway driving music.

It is unclear whether or not Vangelis produced or played backup on this album. Various Internet sources point to his involvement in some fuzzy way, but none of the signature touches you’d associate with his name are present, so it doesn’t much matter.

Chrisma – “Chinese Restaurant” LP (ZIP file)

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719 Responses to CHRISMA

  1. Hank says:

    Wow, someone else has heard of them! I have one Krisma and one Chrisma LP, never seen or heard this one, thank you!

  2. Jim Donato says:

    Yeah, the one Krisma LP most of us would have is “Fido” [a.k.a. "Nothing To Do With The Dog"] which came out on domestically on Atlantic in 1983. It was an album where all instrumentation was a hacked Casiotone keyboard that anyone could have bought in K-Mart at the time.

  3. Jim Donato says:

    And I should point out that Chrisma are still active and “Chinese Restaurant” and two other early albums have been released on CD this year. http://krisma.mayancaper.net/

  4. Ooh, I haven’t heard Fido. I only have Chinese Restaurant and Hibernation (well, a rip of Hibernation atleast. That record costs a pretty penny). I know the Part Time Punks guys were rocking Black Silk Stocking for a while, but I’m way more into Hibernation.

    Speaking of current bands that coincidentally sound like chrisma, see Hard Place out of LA.

  5. Zealamb says:

    Try to listen to “Clandestine anticipation”, it’s absolutely their masterpiece! It might sound naive these days but, I can tell you, back then, no other group in Italy sounded like them.

    Here there are some realaudio tracks

  6. smoggo says:

    this shit is classic! anybody else knows a band that sounds like this? it would be a good thing these days.

  7. don zebra says:

    mille grazie!!!
    dz

  8. Nemesi says:

    I don’t know if any of you is familiar with the likes of Lindstrom and Prins Thomas… They do the “new” so called “Cosmic Disco”…

    The first track of this album (Thank You) could sit perfectly on their album from 2005 on Eskimo Records…

    Chrisma were great!!!

    Thanks for posting!

  9. nick says:

    For what it’s worth, the album was recorded in Vangelis’ private studio by his producer brother during the hours when he wasn’t using it. Also his photographer girlfriend took the album photos, so a lot of people just assumed he was playing on it too. Vangelis did play on earlier Chrisma tracks, and it’s really obvious when he did. Nothing on this one sounds anything like when he plays, for better or worse.

  10. Cezz says:

    Nick wrote: “Nothing on this one sounds anything like when he plays, for better or worse.”

    It is not true. “CHINESE RESTAURANT” sounds very much like “See You Later” by Vangelis

  11. e*rock says:

    This is such a great LP, its all about “C Rock” and “Black Silk Stockings”.

  12. Peter says:

    I’m speechless with gratitude and now I will contradict that statement.

    Back in 1978-79, a good friend found this record somewhere and we were hooked on it. Another friend of ours borrowed it and accidentally left it at work. Upon returning to work the next day she discovered that her boss had thrown it in the garbage and it was lost to us forever.

    In the early days of the Internet “Vangelis & Chinese Restaurant” was one of the first things I did a search for and only found a passing reference on a Vangelis discography website.

    Today, thanks to you, a 30 year search has come to a close.
    “Thank you” sounds facile and trite compared to the level of my gratitude.

  13. maya says:

    Clandestine anticipation is amazing! i have it on vinyl. thank you for posting this one. hope to get on vinyl too