A painting of me

Ivana Santilli

   12 August 2004, late at night


I want to talk about Ivana Santilli’s new album, Corduroy Boogie, but I really should mention Brown before I get to it. I bought Ivana Santilli’s first album, Brown, as soon as it came out. I saw the video for Too Deep on Much Music and knew I had to get the album. Looking back now, I’m not sure if I was even aware Ivana Santilli’s old group Bass is Base had split up, or that she had been working on a solo project. I suppose it is unimportant. The album is great. Ivana Santilli is a very talented young lady. She usually is playing something like 5 instruments per track all the while playing the role of co-producer and song writer. I like her voice: it’s very soft and sultry. That is how she sounds in my head, anyway. Brown is awesome.

An Aside on Bass is Base

Back when I was in Grade 8, several years before buying Brown, I saw the video for Funkmobile on Much Music. The song sounded so retro: I loved it. At school the next day, my friend (David Hillerby) explained that the song was by a band called Bass is Bass, that they were based out of Toronto, and that the song was brand new. Bass is Base’s first album is hard to come by. Luckily the band ended up getting signed to a major record label and released Memories of the SoulShack Survivors. The album is excellent.

I’ve always been curious as to why the group split up. The three group members, Ivana Santilli, Chin Injetti, and Mystic, are all quite talented. Santilli never mentions the group or its other members in her follow up efforts, and Chin and Mystic never appear in support of Santilli on either of her albums. I’ve always wondered if they had some sort of falling out. Details of the groups split are hard to come by.

Corduroy Boogie

Ivana Santilli released Corduroy Boogie last Tuesday, about five years after Brown. Once in a blue moon I would check the web to see if Santilli was up to anything new. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few weeks back her web site had changed to reflect the upcoming release of her new album. I was in Waterloo on Tuesday when the album was released, and bought it that very morning.

The album is quite good. Like its predecessor, Corduroy Boogie is at times funky, at times soulful, and at times a bit of both. The album is solid. I don’t find myself skipping over tracks because they feel like filler. The whole album works together nicely, and it a pleasure to listen too.

The first two tracks on the album, Breathe Inn and Everlasting, are excellent; they set the mood for the rest of the album. Breathe Inn is probably the closest the album gets to something like Too Deep or Sun + Moon = Tomorrow. I was a bit disappointed to see Ivana Santilli didn’t include a single drum and bass tinged track on this new CD.

One of my favourite tracks on the album is Torna A Casa, which is actually sung by her dad and sister. I think I am just a sucker for such overtly ethnic music. Santilli’s father has an thoroughly charming voice, gruff but sweet at the same time. Santilli’s sister’s voice is very rich and full sounding. The two of them singing this Italian duet is quite cute.

Deserve is currently out as the first single off the album. I actually think Everlasting or What Matters would have made better singles. I imagine people have done all sorts of careful studies in order to pick Deserve over anything else on the album.

I’m not sure if I like this new album more then Brown. I enjoyed Brown so much; I think Ivana set the bar quite high with her first release. That said, I have really enjoyed Corduroy Boogie. If you are looking for new music check the album out. (Word on the street is that Esthero is also working on a follow up to her debut album. Nice to see all these Canadian ladies doing something new.)

Amazon’s page for Brown
Amazon’s page for Corduroy Boogie
Amazon’s page for Memories of the SoulShack Survivors



  1. Another aside: Ivana Santilli is one sexy lady.

  2. I spelt her damn name wrong so many times in this post! Sheesh.

  3. Torna a Casa is sung with her father and sister, not her mom! Ivana is awesome I wish I could see her live!

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