Sunday, May 30, 2010

Body & Soul

It's Body & Soul today and I'm so excited that I can not hide it! A truly New York experience following on the footsteps of the Paradise Garage, The Loft, The Gallery and Shelter "where people got together and danced in a safe and congenial atmosphere. Where friends were made and where our love for music could be celebrated. Where you felt special for being part of it, yet at home enough to truly relax and let go on the dance floor, together. Some of those parties became legends, others by now long forgotten...but the need is still here today for the same basic setting. A place where everyone feels welcome regardless of age, sex, color or social attributes. A place where one can find inspiration, solace and a renewed expression of the unique and joyous nature of The Party. An opportunity to let one's guard down and truly share and celebrate the most vibrant energy that music and dancing give us". The fabulous trio comprised of legendary DJ's Joe Clausell, Danny Krivit and Francois K always bring it out! Whether is early and late disco and house, they will take you on a journey of yesterday, today and tomorrow. So here is a song that epitomizes Body & Soul, "Jaguar" by The Aztec Mystic from the Body and Soul Volume 3 compilation released in 2000. A pulsating song that appeared in clubs as early as 1997 and it sums up the dramatic elements of dance music from the violin and the drums of disco and house. So this Memorial Day weekend, instead of the beach I'm choosing to dance myself clean of all the stress, pain and troubles of the world. Peace!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's All True

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Here is a song from one of my all time favorite voices from the '90s, Ms. Tracey Thorn. It's hard to believe what a long and remarkable career she has accomplished already! After her first band, Marine Girls, broke up in 1983, she formed Everything But The Girl with now husband Ben Watt. The duo released eleven studio albums between 1984 and 1999, pioneering the fusion of folk, electronic music and pop creating the massive '90s hit "Missing" along the way. In 2001, she quit music so she can be a full time mom. She returned in 2007 with her first solo album Out Of The Woods, an acclaimed balance of beats and melodies. "It's All True" is a testament to her relentless brilliance! Forward to now and she has just released a near-flawless follow up called Love and It's Opposite. There are plenty of elegantly arranged songs that sound more intimate and powerful along with Tracey's still youthful voice. Although most of the songs are on the acoustic side with some beautiful piano and guitar melodies, they all have the potential to be remixed to create electronic havoc. I wouldn't be surprised if already by now there are a series of them remixed and posted on YouTube. The more electronic friendly song here is called "Why Does The Wind?" which is already a favorite among many others. I can't wait the hear the remix singles!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Funk It

Here is a great vinyl I found while checking some dusty record bins around the neighborhood the other day. Do not be misled by the title of this track because this ain't no funk my darlings! What we have here is a fast paced disco stomper with a vocal that is very similar in style to Sylvester. So "Funk It" is not funk but rather an amazing underground disco classic by singer Eddy Rosemond. Very little is known about this singer other that he was very young when he released this 12" gem in 1979. "Funk It was obviously a Paradise Classic and I heard that Larry would play it during the many peak moments during his legendary sets. Enjoy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Take Me Higher

Here is a song by one of my favorite early Chicago house pioneers. Also known as Virgo Four, Eric Lewis and Martyn Sanders made some of the finest what was back then known as techno, but now it seems to have just ended up being categorised as deep house. This is a very special LP, calm but intense, with a pulsing beat that is commonly compared with Larry "Mr. Fingers" Heard but don't be fooled by this comparison because they were able to amaze us and created their own distinctive sound that enraptured us on the dance floors during the late 80's as well. Every song on this self titled LP could serve as footprints of the early acid house. These tracks were originally released as two EPs by the legendary Trax label under the names of Virgo Four and or M.E. (Martyn and Eric). This LP was only released over in the UK as a testament that they were the only ones embracing this sound before US caught on this new trend. These guys did very little after this seminal time in dance music except for a three tracker in 1992 as Ace and the Sandman. "Take me Higher" has been featured in a number of compilations and is a stand out in this LP simply because is the only song that is less aggressive on the beat department thus emanating a deeper side of "techno". Enjoy

Here is a very nice re-edit by Ray Mang

Friday, May 21, 2010

Re-Entry II

TGIF!..."Re-Entry II" is the second installment of the"Re-Entry" mix series. Again, I am sharing a mix that re-visits the dance floor concept of the re-entry but this time with a harder and more aggressive sound than the previous. It explores a wide range of styles ranging from House, '80s Italo Disco/House, Prince (a category of it's own), Nu-Disco and a fabulous re-visited classic by Stevie Wonder by The Revenge with a surprise Glamjack sprinkle for added effect.

Track Listing:

1. Prince - "All The Critics Love U In New York"
2. Donnacha Costello - "It's What We Do" (KINK Nevil Watson Ruff Fub)
3. Virgo - "Never Want To Lose You"
4. Rick Wilhite - "Drum Patterns And Memories" (Moodymann Unreleased Remix)
5. Disco Deviance- "Cha" (Greg Wilson Edit)
6. Nicolas Jaar - "Mi Mujer"
7. The Fatback Band - "Let The Drums Speak"
8. Q - "The Voice Of Q"
9. The Revenge - "Night Flight"
10. eXodus - "Together Forever"
11. T-Coy - "Corino"
12 Linda Clifford - Changin' (A Tom Moulton Mix)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Intergalactic Love Song

This is a song by American jazz composer, organist, and saxophonist in the soul jazz tradition. Born in Philadelphia, he learned to play the saxophone in high school. During the seventies he released some amazing hard, simmering grooves that made him a favorite among the deejays and dancers and earned him the nickname "The Mighty Burner". Usually his grooves were played during the early evening set and/or during the early mornings in order to come down from the long hours of marathon disco dancing. This song is from his 1975 amazing LP titled Odyssey. The core of the groove here is the Arp, which he plays masterfully running from tight funky melodies to wilder outer spacier sounds. Most of his records were sophisticated, slick productions that embraced fusion of styles. In 1978, he officially hit the disco/club scene with a track called "Let The Music Play" and made the US charts for 5 weeks. Charles passed away in 1999 and released a total of 40 albums. His last album was Stomp! which was released in 2000. His music live on and will continue to inspire generations to come. Enjoy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Special Agent Man

Here is a song by Italo disco cult heroes Gaz Nevada called "Special Agent Man". I am mesmerized by this electronic disco rarity that seems to come from the future even if this was released in 1983! If I am not mistaken this is the female version. I haven't heard the male version yet. The long intro is pure cosmic magic magic full of unpredictable episodes. They also scored big with "IC Love Affair" which I happen to love also. Enjoy

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Let Me Go!

What a lovely weekend! It's great to be in a city where no matter how long you've lived in it, you will always discover something new. That was the spirit of this weekend as I submitted to the wondering choices of a wonderful friend. To cap the weekend, my friend took me for the first time to "Bronx Beach" (Orchard Beach). It was amazingly beautiful and upon our arrival there was some outdoor deejaying by some Bronx locals (check photo below). Immediately, I recognized they were playing dance classics a la Bronx style. The music choices where spot on and this guy worked "Let Me Go" by Heaven 17 like I've never heard before. It was a great moment to watch a bunch of tough looking guys from the Bronx jam to this British dance/pop '80s classic from their 1982 timeless classic The Luxury Gap. The distinctive bass line and drum machine along with the dramatic lyrics sung by Glenn Gregory's moody vocals makes it brilliant! I couldn't believe my eyes! A beautiful gorgeous day and then hearing...."daytime, all I want is nighttime, I don't need the daytime, all I want is nighttime"...."I walked along and yet I never say goodbye, let me go (Let me go) A change of heart, a change of mind and heaven fell that night, let me go...." oh those lyrics. Fantastic!

Photo by: Coty Sewell

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Art Of Being In Between

Here is a song that I have loved since I first heard it around 2004. "The Art Of Being In Between" it's from a band called Fuzz Against Junk. I know very little about this band except that is featured in the 3rd compilation released from the now defunct independent record label Nuphonic. Based in London, England, the label was founded in 1994 by Sav Remzi and David Hill with the aim of releasing and promoting dance music that reflected their passion for Jazz, Funk, Soul and ethnic music. Faze Action was one their biggest breakthrough bands that released on of my favorite cult classics such as the cello-led disco track "In The Trees". In addition they have released music from Block 16, Fug, Adam Goldstone, Idjut Boys and Norman Jay. Another of my favorite Nuphonic releases were David Mancuso's educational two volumed Loft compilations. Unfortunately, this great label folded in 2002 due to a decline in physical sales and the shifting tastes of the buying public. Sav Remzi continues to feature amazing acts from his new label called Tirk Records. The roster includes New Young Pony Club, Fujiya & Miyagi, Maurice Fulton, Groove Armada, Greg Wilson, Chaz Jankel, Love Supreme, Sorcerer and many others. I simply love this song for its simplicity, harmonica and beats. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Take Some Time Out For Love

Here is a song by the one and only The Salsoul Orchestra. They were the backing band for acts on Salsoul Records. It was formed in New York in 1974 and disbanded in 1982. Their music featured elements of Philly Soul, Funk, Latin Music and disco. The Salsoul Orchestra included 50 members with instrumental section, arrangers and conductors. It was conducted by Vincent Montana Jr. (1975-1978). Production duties came, from 1978 to 1983 to Tom Moulton, Stan Lucas, Patrick Adams and Bunny Sigler. The personnel of the Salsoul Orchestra and MFSB overlapped substantially. "Take Some Time Out For Love" is from their last full length LP Heat It Up and it features the amazing Jocelyn Brown on vocals. I'm loving the breaks and more electronic feel of this one. The message couldn't be more clearly around this hectic times. So ....let's take a little time out for love....Need I say more? Enjoy

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Beat Inside

Happy Monday! I will be brief today since I'm involved in a theatre production involving teens and I'm in much need of rest! Here is a song to start the week called " The Beat Inside" by the Nick Striker Band. They were a British band that reached major success in the USA with the classic dance track "A Little Bit Of Jazz" in 1980. This one is taken from the album they recorded for Prelude. It's an amazing and simple pop/dance song that deserves revision. I love the break here and I can see why this was a favorite among deejays and specially at the Paradise Garage. Enjoy

P.S. Is that Emmanuel Lewis on the cover?

New York City Rhythm

Happy Mothers Day and thank you to all the wonderful mothers for being what you are! It is days like today that make me miss my mother and wish I could live closer to her. In the middle of all this nostalgia, I hear a song like this one and something about it that heals my aching heart, even if it is temporally...."Oh yes, I live my life with strangers, and the danger's always there, but when I hit Broadway and it's time to play....It's the New York City rhythm runnin' thru my life, the poundin' beat of the city streets that keeps my dreams alive"....This song is from Barry Manilow's third album Tryin' To Get The Feeling. Released in the summer of '75, it raised the ante to double-platinum when the title tune hit the singles charts in the spring of 1976. Every tune in this LP is pure pop genius. It contains the #1 ballad "I Write The Songs", the beautiful written "Lay Me Down" and "Beautiful Music", the opening tune of American Bandstand "Bandstand Boogie" and many others not to miss here. "New York City Rhythm" became a New York anthem and it soared on the dance floors in the spring 1976, the city was broke and in debt, crime and unemployment was at it's highest and fear for worse was everywhere. Sound like a familiar scenario to now? However, this a song embraces the essence to this city and it can lift the spirits of anyone who lives here and shows how resilient we are! Enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Without You

" get you back into my life got to get you get you get you back...into my life..." It's 1987 and this was undeniable an urgent call "back" into the dance floor. Little it's known about this house music outfit except that it was mixed by house legend Timmy Regisford. Also, that this was a Paradise Garage classic that brought the house down, Larry Levan would play it late at night and I just can imagine what it did to the dancers on that famous sound system. My own experience with this song was being under aged and dancing to it at Cafe Lafitte in Exile (The oldest gay bar in the United States where Walt Whitman was once a patron) and then later at a place called House of Desire a short lived house music club off Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Talk about hardcore here! They also released two other amazing house gems, "Fallen" and "Love Fixation". This is house music children!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Turn Me Up

Happy "5 de Mayo". It has been a crazy busy week for me already and I'm in much need to be "turned up". Here is a song by Keith Barrow called "Turn Me Up" from his 1978 LP Physical Attraction. Keith's signature tune is the smooth-silk top 30 R&B ballad/steppers favorite, "You Know You Want To Be Loved". However, "Turn Me Up" was a favorite among dance floor aficionados. During his teens growing up in Chicago, Barrow headed a gospel group called the Soul Shakers (love the name). Produced by MFSB guitarist/songwriter Bobby Eli, his self titled debut album issued in the summer of 1977 with the track "Mr. Magic Man" got some attention. Physical Attraction came next and yielded two disco hits, "Turn Me Up"and "Physical Attraction, the rest of this LP is replete with beautifully sensuous slow jams such as "Step Into My Garden" and "Free To Me". Sadly, Keith Borrow died of complications from AIDS on October 22, 1983. "Turn Me Up" is one of those songs full of great surprises and has been featured in many compilations from many legendary DJ's over the past years. This is a true classic. Enjoy!

P.S. Check out the album cover. I think it tells a very interesting story!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rolling Down a Mountainside

Here is a song that means a lot to me by Harlem group The Main Ingredient. Known for their sense of lush orchestrated soul, they scored many hits during the early '70s. "Rolling Down a Mountainside" was pretty much their last top ten R&B hit before they parted ways. Their disco smash "Happiness Is Around the Bend" was an example of the beautiful lush productions of the '70s that made it big in the discotheques. I don't mean to be preachy here but "Rolling..." has a deep meaning for me. This song inspires me and I usually think of this song when I'm faced with the hard decisions in life. How to fight the fight head on and be true to oneself without selling out by giving up on your true feelings, not loose your integrity, not be afraid to confront reality, even when it ain't pretty and most of all, to love, to forgive without loosing oneself in the process, to move on and appreciate oneself because when that happens, God is on our side! Can I get an Amen? Enjoy