Friday, April 30, 2010
Here is a brilliant deep house song from Haitian born Jephte Guillaume. Ibo Lele is the name of the principal Lwa (spirit) contributed to the pantheon of Haitian Vodou by the Ibo People, it is commonly referred to as Ibo Granmoun. Granmoun means an adult, an elder, or (in Vodou) one who possesses spiritual wisdom. The term Ibo can refer directly to the Ibo nation, to Ibo Granmoun, or the the songs and dances of the Ibo nation performed in Vodou ceremonies. We must continue to take part in helping the people of Haiti. Jepthe is one of the many artists from this beautiful country in such great need of help. This song is the perfect example of the organic direction of deep house during the late '90s which gathered influences from disco to jazz-funk to Brazilian jazz. Jepthe moved to New Y0rk as a child during the Duvalier regime along with his family. Once settled, he began playing at an early age, taking bass while his brother Donald worked on drums. By the beginning of the '90s, the two bean recording with the Haitian-music group Rara Machine. Guillaume also played with the world collective Vodu 155, and with the post-bop acid jazz group Abstract Truth. Aside from his work in groups, Jepthe also began recording on his own and released his debut single, "One Respect", in 1994 for the house label Metropolitan. By 1997, "The Prayer" (his first single for Joe Claussells' Spiritual Life Music) became a massive underground house hit, driven by deep Latin vibes, acoustic guitar, and Guillaume's own vocals. Hot on his heels came a series of similar recordings ("Kanpe, "Lakou-A" and the song featured here " Ibo Lele" for Spiritual Life, each balancing Guillanume's knowledge of Caribbean grooves with the increasingly organic feel of New York house (thanks in part to Claussell's popular club-night Body & Soul where I first heard and danced to his music. His impressive album debut Voyage of Dreams appeared in 1998 and it encapsulates the feel of what house music was like in New York back in the late '90s. It's a total must have for house heads. Enjoy
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It's middle of the week and all I can think about is being lost in music. There is nothing better than to travel or escape with such wonderful medium. Especially during those hard long days when you feel like quiting your "9 to 5" and get "Lost In Music! Here is one of my favorite and classiest LPs from of the more commercial side of disco. The 1979 platinum, We Are Family by none other than the fantastic Sister Sledge. Formed in 1972, these sisters arrived at the perfect time and made a huge mark on the disco scene. Kim, Debbie, Joni and Kathy Sledge are the granddaughters of the former opera singer Viola Williams. They used to perform under the name of 'Mrs. Williams' Grandchildren'. Anyway, I'm loving the frantic message of "Lost In Music" and never get tire of listening. Here is an amazing rework by The Revenge. The way this remix anticipates the insanity, picks it up and then comes crashing on full blast makes one feels like a riding wave of disco hysteria; however, nothing can compare to the fabulously original "long version". Both are here for your enjoyment and entertainment so let's get lost in music now.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Today I'm posting a great song I recently discovered called "I Can Understand It" by Kokomo. They were formed in May 1973 and their name come from an Aretha Franklyn song, " First Snow in Kokomo" ( a small town in Indiana, USA). Fronted by Tony O'Malley, Kokomo was an amazing live band during the 70's before they achieved great success and cross over appeal even in the discotheques! It was great for dancing, especially during the late evenings for the unwinding sweating dancers. This song is a cover version of Bobby Womack and it became their smash hit from their first self titled LP in 1975. This song inspires me to have an open mind and appreciate myself for having the ability to understand people, situations and complexities especially during stressful times. Enjoy!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
What a weekend of polarities! One day we have a beautiful sunny spring day and the other is total gray and full of rain. Such is life! In the spirit of New Orleans Jazz festival and Festival International de Louisiane, here are a couple of songs by one of my favorites jazz/fusion groups of the 70's and 80's. Eumir Deodato is a Brazilian musician, record producer and arranger primarily based in the jazz realm but who historically has been known for eclectic melding of big band and combo jazz with elements of rock/pop, r&b/funk, Brazilian/Latin and symphonic orchestral music. He has produced or arranged music in more than 500 albums for acts ranging from Kool and the Gang to Bjork and k.d. Lang. Night Cruiser was the first of his 80's offerings and a move from funk jazz of the 70's to modern soul. Here he showcases the best of his talents in both genres. His uncanny sense of rhythm and timing is still very firmly in place, making this LP more than just a smooth jazz album and pushing it into the realm of soulful spacey fusion. There are some amazing tracks here such as "Skatin", "Uncle Funk", "Love Magic" and of course Paradise Garage classic "Night Cruiser" which I'm also featuring here as a bonus. "Groovitation" has been overlooked and I feel deserves revisiting. It's got some great house elements! Hear for yourself and enjoy!
Friday, April 23, 2010
Happy Friday! Today I'm posting a great Paradise Garage classic by Sounds of Inner City. I know very little about this band except for this intriguing song. This song was the disco version for theme song from a 1976 soap opera parody called Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. This was a late night soap opera and the irony was that while it dealt with the same topics found in episodes of daytime soap operas, the topics were called by their names (impotence, sexual perversion) instead of being referred to the hushed tones and euphemisms typically favored by "straight" soaps, although the cast had a tongue and cheek performance style. For this reason, the series was even more controversial that it might otherwise have been. The character played by Louise Lasser who wore pig tails on the show and was once married to Woody Allen. I love the song because it's so campy and I can see why it was a Paradise classic. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Here is an marvelous version of Chaka Khan's classic "Ain't Nobody". The vocals are sung by Aquilla Fearon. She is the lead singer for Alex Wilson who is a brilliant pianist, composer, producer and educator. He is one of the UK's foremost Latin music producers. He has done six solo albums and one of them is called Inglaterra where this amazing song comes from and it's a favourite in the salsa and dance clubs . As an educator, Alex have delivered workshops and master classes for young people both internationally, for the British Council in Colombia, Cuba, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria and Israel as well as in the UK for music colleges such as the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. I'm loving the fact that he teaches and shares his talent with youth. About this song, there are two versions here, one is an edit by The Revenge and it has been featured in countless mixes, and also the original. I'm loving the whole salsa/soul vibe here and I must say, Aquilla's voice is fierce! Enjoy!
Ain't Nobody - Alex Wilson
Ain't Nobody (The Revenge Edit) - Alex Wilson
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
OK I'm guilty! I did the sacrilegious by using an existing and beautifully arranged song and "mix-mashed "it with another! It's been a while since I haven't posted one of these so forgive me. It's a song by the iconic Sade whose new album "Soldier Of Love" is out now and it's brilliant. She took a 1o year hiatus and made an amazing come back with a new classic. It's a must listen so go buy it. Now back to this posting. "I Never Thought I See The Day" is from her late 80's LP Love Is Stronger Than Pride and is one of my favorite songs among the many from her expansive music library. This ballad is so open it's almost impossible not to envision the massive expanse of an ocean at sunset while listening. I decided to overlay it with an edit I made from Ron Basejam's "No Jose Part 1 (The Revenge Mix)". It's a brilliant start of a mix idea. I am planning on including this one on a mix that I am working on that I will post soon. It will be an ethereal mix with many of my favorites from then and now. Enjoy!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Another gorgeous day today! Not bad for a Monday. Here is a song that I heard today on my way to work and was blown away. I heard it from an amazing mix from Craig Smith's 6th Borough Project and later realized that I had the song but not the original. I need to pay more attention here. The one that I heard was Todd Terje (Rekutt) version which blew me away. Todd Terje is another amazing producer/dj that has also revolutionized dance music along with Prins Thomas and Hans Peter Lindstrom. I previously featured one of his reworks of Michael Jackson's "I Can't Help It" on my "Re-Entry" Mix . Todd has been pretty busy in the last 5 years. He has come up with some of the best re-edits of disco and 80's dance songs and have made them new again. Here is a brilliant example from Dee Dee Sharp Gamble's classic "Easy Money". Enjoy!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
What a lovely weekend it was! We had good share of fresh cool air in our beloved city. It's so nice to have a proper Spring. Speaking of fresh, I realized that I haven't posted much of the "new disco" that has been released during the past five years. This "new disco" emerged around 2004 as a reaction to the overly saturated trance sound that was fast becoming excessively multi-layered, tiresome, over-caffeinated and repetitive in the club scene during that lackluster period of dance music. Enter Norwegian record producers, Prins Thomas and Han's-Peter Lindstrom. Their collaboration marked the beginning of what has been termed as "space disco", with influences from krautrock, psychedelia, progressive rock and a healthy dose of plenty of unknown cosmic disco breaks and influences from the mid to late 70's. It is safe to say that they have revolutionized, revised and revived the essence of dance music! So here I'm posting an early favorite and probably a classic from this amazing duo called "I Feel Space". A song that probably started this movement. The other posting is by a more recent release called "Nights Over Memphis (The Revenge Dub)" from one of my new favorite DJ/Producers, Craig Smith's brilliant new outfit called 6th Borough Project. It's brilliant and I will let the song speak for itself as this "new disco movement" has come full circle and it's here to stay as far as I'm concerned! Enjoy!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Happy Friday! It's all about Spring Rain today. We had a nice refreshing healthy dose of rain. Nothing better to clear New York City air! Here is a song by one of my favorite Argentine pianist, composer and arranger Bebu Silvetti or just simply known as Silvetti. Born in Quilmes, located in the province of Buenos Aires. He lived in Spain and Mexico and later Miami during his last years of his life. Silvetti produced, arranged and composed for a wide variety of Latin and international artists such as Placido Domingo, Luis Miguel, Vicky Carr, Rocio Durcal, Paloma San Basil, Jose Luis Perales, Juan Gabriel and Ricardo Montaner. Pretty much the cream of the crop of Latin American performers. The 1977 instrumental disco hit "Spring Rain" from his LP The Sensuous Sound of Silvetti: Spring Rain is his most well known; however, his catalog of other songs is huge and nothing short of brilliant. A lot of his songs have been used in every Latin American beauty pageant and probably Miss Universe as well. In addition to the long disco version, I'm including, an amazing version I just discovered by Raul di Blasio. It sounds so fresh without being dated while keeping the integrity of the original. The arrangements of his songs are nothing but epic and orgasmic. Perfect for a spring rainy night. Enjoy!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Here is a song I heard on my way to work today and it completely made me want to revisit this incredible gem. It would be safe to say this is the longer dub version of the original by Eddy Grant which was revamped in 1982 by Rockers' Revenge feat. Donnie Calvin. Most of the 10:30 minutes of dance floor brilliance is mostly instrumental with a few hints to the original with a few references of D-Train's "Keep On" and Central Line's "Walking Into Sunshine". This song could work at any summer party and still would sound fresh. I decided to sprinkle the song with a couple vocals from NYC Peech Boys' "Don't Make Me Wait". There is nothing better in life than walking and rocking on sunshine. Enjoy
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
What a day today! One of those where everything you tried to accomplish feels like it moves like the blob. So here is a song that completely changed my mood today. "Now Is Tomorrow (Anticipation)" by Brass Construction's 1976 second LP Brass Construction II. This was funky, horn heavy disco that added more Latin/Afro Cuban rhythms along with some interesting ballads such as "Blame It On Me (Introspection)" with fused country and funk. Also, the whole LP is brilliant and cleverly written especially by adding subtitles in parenthesis to every song enhancing deepness and story arch for the whole record. This is what I called inspirational disco. So start now because now is tomorrow! Enjoy
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Here is a song that's been in my head lately and I dedicate it to all my wonderful chic girlfriends. "Chic Chica Chic Chica Chic" by one of my favorite of the 70's orchestras, Biddu Orchestra. This song is from their 1976 disco classic LP Rain Forest. This song might get repetitive at some points but I can't help but fall in love with the overall kitch element of the song. Biddu is an Indian-British born producer, composer and song writer who has composed a number of hit records during the early part of the British Disco scene of the mid 1970's. He produced Carl Douglas' hit "Kunk Fu Fighting" as a B-side and ultimately selling over 9 million copies worldwide. He then formed his own disco orchestra and debuted the brilliant instrumental LP Blue Eyed Soul and watched his own star rise even further with the first single "Summer of '42". The rest is disco history by introducing singer Tina Charles and a series of many disco releases that filled every disco dance floor. Biddu is still involved in music and produces spiritual and eastern oriented records. Another song I love is their 1978 cover version of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon", another song about a chic "chica".
Monday, April 12, 2010
Happy Monday! Yes it's the beginning of the week and so much work to do! Projects to finish, datelines etc. It's all life stuff and it's all good. I'm learning to love this part and embrace it with my head up high. It's all about appreciation and never regret a moment even when you feel you're dragging your heels. "Draggin' My Heels" is a song I love by the Hollies' 1976 LP Russian Roulette. The Hollies are a Manchester band that just got inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. This song might sound silly but it speaks volumes specially the part when they sing about being at a crossroads in life, taking the wrong turn, learning from your mistakes and see how far you go for love. Universal life lessons here. This song was a classic at David Mancuso's loft. I purchased this LP at the now defunct East Village dance record store Dance Tracks a couple of years ago. This was an amazing place to shop for music and I miss it.
Friday, April 9, 2010
How sad I am to hear the news that Malcolm McLaren passed away yesterday from complications from a rare cancer. A music and fashion visionary who revolutionized both worlds. He was married to one my favorite British designers, Vivienne Westwood and together changed the face of British fashion forever. Then became the manager of The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls, discovered Bow Wow Wow, Adam Ants and Boy George. "Without him the punk era would never have been the kind of focus that it did become" according to BBC's creative director Alan Yentob. "Malcolm was a man of ideas really - he was fascinated by ideas. He was always thinking about the next one. He was always ready to say something provocative". As far a music concerns, most of his releases where prolific, quirky, imaginative/left field collaborations with other musicians that were mostly concept records that are now considered timeless seminal footprints for other musicians and new musical genres. His first forays were into the field of hip-hop. Duck Rock, produced by Trevor Horn and featuring the rapping World's Famous Supreme Team was a vanguard album in the new music/rap crossover movement. It offered vignettes of hip-hop, Appalachian music, African music and merengue. Instead of assimilating the forms and reconstructing them, McLaren puts his actual source material on vinyl. He was totally ahead of his time here. "Buffalo Gals" sets a square dance call over a hip-hop scratch track. This song has been sampled to death from Nene Cherry, Eminem and in countless of mixes designed for break dancing. Next came Fans in 1984, one of my 80's dance favorites! I remember wearing a skirt and dancing to this LP during my first legal clubbing experience at a place called Xantus in Baton Rouge, LA. The single, "Madame Butterfly" fed us classic opera into a hip-hop blender that worked sweetly for dancing at any new wave club. In 1989, Waltz Darling was a funk/disco/vogue inspired album way before Madonna picked up on such trends. He incorporated elements of his former albums such as spoken verses, string arrangements and eclectic mix of genres. I remember dancing to "Deep In Vogue" at the New Orleans's Parade club and discovering the art of vogueing for the first time. Last, in 1994, he released Paris which included French artists such as Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Hardy and fashion icon Sonia Rykiel. A high-style travelogue that mixed strains of dance, pop, jazz, African and movie soundtrack music with an absurd amount of name dropping. The album managed a seductive appeal with my favorites song in it being "Paris Sept" (Listen here) the instrumental version is totally chic! Thank you Malcolm for your vision, ideas, creativity and genius. R.I.P.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Back to work! It's warm and the excitement it's in the air. It was also nice to walk the Williamsburg bridge today. Here is a track called "Heart Be Still" from Lee Garrett's 1976 LP Heat For The Feets. This is the only released solo record from Garrett. A wonderful release filled with sweet and powerful rhythm and blues ballads and spirited tunes that were extremely popular in the discos. Born in Mississippi, Lee is mostly known for co-writing the all time great "Sign, Sealed and Delivered I'm Yours". He was Stevie Wonder's writing partner for a time until they parted ways over credit disputes. "You Are My Everything" from this LP reached #15 in the UK charts and made him a one hit wonder with this song. I am intrigued with "Hear Be Still" arrangements and lyrics here. In 2007, Lee and Steve reunited and mended ways publicly by paying homage by singing a medley of songs they co-wrote together. Like Stevie Wonder, Garrett is also blind. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon and continues to perform in the United States. Enjoy!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Here is an amazing track that nowadays it would be considered a "mash-up". Based on Mike Oldfield's 1973's debut masterpiece song and LP Tubular Bells, this song became a huge success at the discotheques. It was created by French musicians who went by the name Champ's Boys Orchestra. Although is using parts from Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby" as a backdrop the song progresses nicely and soon one realizes this amazing song stands on it's own. Needless to say, the obvious association we make upon hearing this song as the theme from beloved movie The Exorcist. How amazing it must have been to listen and dance to this while associating this song with both a horror movie and a song that deals with having an orgasm. Brilliant! Enjoy
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Happy Easter everyone! It was a beautiful day it was in our beloved city. Today, I'm serving disco Italian style since I was lucky to get a dinner table at Keith McNally's new fabulous pizza venture called Pulino's. Located at the corner of Bowery and Houston, Pulino's is serving an amazing array of Milanese style pizza with the amazing ambiance and authenticity of McNallian proportions. So far the best pizza I've ever had in New York! Now to music, "Volare" by Al Martino was a great disco song in 1976 and this song is probably a song you would hear at any wedding with a lite mix of Philadelphia sound mixed with the crooning qualities of Martino's voice. "Volare" was recorded in 1975 and was a huge smash in Europe and ignited a wave of making disco versions out of old 50's and 60's standards. Divertiti!
Friday, April 2, 2010
Happy "Good Friday". Another gorgeous day in the city! Today, I ventured out to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to see the cherry blossoms at the Japanese Garden for inspiration. I am posting "Rush Hour To Hong Kong" from a 1960's LP titled Vibes Galore by Louie Ramirez. I love the cocktail hour feel of this timeless song and it would go well at any house party or lounge. The song has a cheeky oriental flavour that also wouldn't be out of place in a 60's spy movie. I discovered the music of Louie Ramirez upon listening to some great disco covers he did with a Latin flavor he did during the mid 70's such as "Bad Luck" by The O'Jays and First Choice's "Do It Anyway You Wanna" from his LP titled A Different Shade Of Black . Both were great Latin variations of disco classics that were popular at the discotheques. Ramirez is known as a composer, arranger, percussionist and vibraharpist. This song was recently featured in Gillles Peterson's Fania DJ Series CD. So I give you an Oriental/Latin feel for your cocktail hour to get you geared up of Easter weekend! Enjoy
Thursday, April 1, 2010
"....I don't want no distraction in the middle of the feeling"....I hear that sister! Since today it was a gorgeous day after all that crazy rain, I don't want nothing distracting me from experiencing this weather. It was nice to feel the sun and to finally see the beginning of cherry blossoms and trees sprouting as well. So today I'm featuring a song called "In The Middle Of The Feeling" by Three Ounces Of Love. I am in love with this girl trio by the Alexander sisters who called themselves Three Ounces Of Love (I'm loving the name also). This group decided not to go disco at time when that seemed to be the natural route for so many female soul combos. I'm loving the sophisticated modern soul approach of this timeless self titled 1978 album. Enjoy