I was disappointed to read recently about the death of Alberto Bertapelle, an Italian composer and producer who died on stage during a guitar performance in Udine last November – another of the noted musicians that failed to make it through the annus horribilis of 2016. He was just 57.
While not a household name, Bertapelle found fame in 1996 with the single Nightmare, recorded under the nom de plume Brainbug: a track that goes down as one of the most sinister dance tracks to break the charts – it made it to number 11 in the UK, and as high as 4 in the US Club Play charts.
First released on Italy’s Strike Force imprint, it would achieve universal acclaim the following year as it was published first on Additive and then on Positiva, a release that included the infamous ‘Sinister Strings‘ mix, as well as a Tall Paul edit.
The accompanying video was a ‘no expense spared’ B-Movie masterpiece that Ed Wood would be proud of (keep an eye out for the twist at the end..!).
Brainbug released a couple of notable follow ups, including Benedictus and Rain, but it was his first smash single that ultimately defined his career.
When the annals of dance history are drawn up, those that choose to define what genre Brainbug’s Nightmare should sit in could be left scratching their heads – ‘pizzicato techno’, perhaps? It’s a tribute to a producer gone too soon.
[Kudos to Richard D for the upload]