Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jack The House

Allow me to end the month with a house song since it's been a while since last I posted one. I will always have a smile on my face whenever I hear this amazing piece of 1986 house music history.  This song embodies the spirit of house music.  The vocals are from some lady by the name of Femme Fion, mixed by legendary Farley Jackmaster Funk and produced by Rocky Jones & Chip E.  The beats here are so visceral and delicious but it is the dialogue that happens during the break between a male voice probably Chip E. himself and someone named Charita and Tony that makes this song a riot.  I remember dancing to this and it sounded incredible on a dance floor.   Here is the scripted dialogue and see for yourself why it always put a smile on my face:

  Male voice:-"Hey girls ugh, who is Jack and ugh...what is so bad about his house?" 
 Tony's voice: -"Everybody knows Jack...He's sweet and smooth and he has this great big house where everybody goes to party at ....say Charita, I'm ready to Jack some of these guys up...look at these guys on the wall...we can't have this at no party...whachu say Charita..." 
 Charita's voice: - ..."well Tony I say you're right...I mean I'm sitting here on this wall and you on one of those walls....we just can't stand for this...I mean some of these guys are ugly...but hey, I'm ready to jack this house so let's show'em and get them off these walls Tony, not one... not two... but four at a time!....
yeah com'on''.
It's important to note here that "jacking" is meant differently and not in a sexual meaning.  The term is a dance technique that most likely came from the multicultural roots in the early underground Chicago House scene. Jacking is a dance technique that comes from moving the torso forward and backward in a rippling motion, as if a wave were passing through it.  When this movement is repeated and sped up to match the beat of a song is called jacking, or "the jack".  This technique is arguably the most important movement in house dance because it is the foundation that initiates more complex movements and footwork and it has evolved into a full genre on it's own.   Here are two  of my favorite versions of this song for your jacking pleasure. Enjoy!

Jack The House (Club House) - Femme Fion- DJ International

Jack The House (Trax The Sax) - Femme Fion - DJ International

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brand New

It's mid week madness and I have the need to feel "Brand New".  This is an incredible song that has been overlooked from this incredible album.  The native New Yorker, Melba Moore began her career as a member of the original cast of the musical Hair then landed two big screen film roles, released two successful albums including 1970's  I Got Love and Look What You're Doing to the Man  and had a successful variety television series in 1972.    It wasn't until 1975 when her career picked up after meeting  and marrying Charles Huggins and started recording again.  In 1975, Moore signed with Buddah Records and released the critically successful R&B album, Peach Melba, which included the minor hit, "I Am His Lady".  The following year, in 1976, Moore scored her first significant hit with the Van McCoy production and Grammy nominated LP, This Is It.  The title song became a huge hit on the dance floors along with the Curtis Mayfield cover of "Make Me Believe In You".   The whole LP is a disco classic but also the ballads such as "Lean on Me" are incredible here.   Ms. Moore has had a rocking career since then an a nasty divorce but this lady is tough and has had many comebacks with songs like "You Stepped Into My Life", "Love's Comin' At Ya", "Love Me Right" and "Read My Lips" to name a few.  Moore also returned to Broadway during the mid '90s landing a part in Les Miserables and in 2007 landed a role in the revival of Ain't Misbehavin'.  Ms. Moore is a born-again Christian.  This album is a must have to all of you disco aficionados and the cover is totally fierce!  Enjoy!

Brand New - Melba Moore - Buddah

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Be Africa

I am in love with this song as I write this to you.  Let me indulge here since I have a lot to write an lots of name dropping about this wonderful new find. This the result of a pair of Parisian groove theorists named Bibi Tanga and Professeur Inlassable.  Singer, bassist and bandleader Bibi Tanga  grew up in Paris as an immigrant from the Central African Republic.  Bibi's music described as slinky, sinuous bass lines and a wicked falsetto that conjures up Prince and Curtis Mayfield, while producer Professeur Inlassable ("The Tireless Professor") digs deep and brings the sound and spirit of another era.  Together with Bibi's band The Selenites create a stunningly original new sound where Afro-futurism meets punk, Fela Kuti with famed New Orlean's jazz soloist Sidney Bechet and Marcel Duchamp gets down with Chic.  They already made a stir in France among the fashion forward funk audiences worldwide.  Dunya is their first official full length international release.  Dunya takes its name from the word "existence" in Sango, the language of Central African Republic, and the album is a vivid snapshot of the present moment in global music and a roadmap to the future.  Juggling English, French and Sango lyrics, Bibi sings about socially conscious messages about immigration, malnutrition, AIDS and slavery with some of the most danceable grooves mixing wild, eclectic funk beats, layered with Afro beats over electro-tinged soul.  Bibi was born in Paris but moved quite often due to his father's diplomatic postings shuffling between Paris, Africa, Moscow, Washington, D.C. and Brooklyn.  He grew up listening to a lot of records raging from disco, funk, soul, reggae, R&B, and a wide array of African music from Franco and Tabu Ley from Congo, Fela Kuti from Nigeria, Bembeya Jazz from Guinea.  Also he was influenced as a teenager growing up in Paris suburbs by  '80s punk rock and new wave from French bands like Telephone to British bands like English Beat, The Specials and The Cure. He learned guitar, bass and saxophone and even took tap dancing.  "The first instrument is your body," he says "it's like having drums on your feet." Bibi Tanga's first met Professeur Inlassable in 2003 and the duo found that they shared a passion for the same music and released "Yellow Gauze" in 2006.   Professeru Inlassable adds a whole new dimension to Bibi Tanga's sound, rereating lost musical sounds capes that invoke echoes of Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg.  For this album, Le Professeur even pulls samples from National Geographic Emerging Explorer Josh Ponte's "Gabon: The Las Dance" soundtrack album.  Together with Bibi's band The Selenites - Arthur Simonini on violin and keyboards, Rico Kerridge on guitar and Arnaud Biscay on drums - Bibi and Le Professeur craft an otherworldly sound.  "We call the band The Selenites because that's the name of the people who lived on the dark side of the moon" Bibi explains.  "It's from a story by H.G. Wells.  People think our music comes from outer space, like cosmic rays.  So the moon is a big inspiration for me.  I'm definitely a romantic that way - but my music is also rooted firmly on the ground".  I'm loving this! I hope you do too. Enjoy!

Be Africa - Bibi Tanga & The Selenites

Monday, September 27, 2010


This weekend I made the rounds to the different great record shops around the neighborhood and found some great interesting gems.  This is one called my attention upon a first hear. When Slave emerged in 1977, they were known for their tight bass-heavy funk stylings with the funk classics "Slide" and "Screw Your Wing On Tite".  Their unique contribution to soul music should not be taken lightly.  Just A Touch Of Love became their forth LP, released in 1979 and it was a turning point since it became clear the these Midwesterners Funk masters were determined to soften their approach.  "Funky Lady (Foxy Lady), "Roots", and the hit title song which became a Paradise Garage classic were the product of lead vocalist Steve Arrington.  This is was a more sleeker Slave approach but still kept it's funk roots intact.   This is an excellent album and enjoyed listening from beginning to end.  Indeed it was at the end that I was enraptured upon hearing the closing song "Warning".  This song sounded so out of place with some amaizing robotic vocals and unpredictable hooks.   This reminded me a little of Nina Haggen's early disco influenced stuff.  This left field approach predicted some the most interesting dance music that was to come during the early '80s.  This was a 'Warning' from Slave so I'm also featuring "Just A Touch Of Love" for some good measure.  Enjoy!

Warning - Slave - Cotillion

Just A Touch Of Love - Slave - Cotillion

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have been wanting to post something by one of my favorite performers of all time and interestingly enough, last night while I was out hanging out at the Metropolitan Bar, I heard an amazing DJ work the turntables by mixing amazing songs back to back between Berlin era Bowie and late '70s Talking Heads.  I was stunned to realize how this is 20th century music and it still sounds incredible timeless and dance friendly. It felt so 'Right' to dance to it and it feels so 'Right' to post this one today.   Although this song is not exactly Berlin era Bowie but more of a Philly soul influence, it blended nicely with his late '70s stuff.  "Right" is from Young Americans, his eight album released in 1975 on RCA Records.  With this LP, Bowie made a sudden and jolting step in a new direction, shedding his glam rock past and exploring Philadelphia soul with backing from a pre-fame Luther Vandross.  Young Americans contained his first number one hit in the U.S.,  "Fame" co-written with John Lennon (who also contributed backing vocals), and work from Carlos Alomar, who would eventually work with Bowie on ten more studio albums. Enjoy

Right - David Bowie - RCA

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Go For It

It is Thurdsay and as some party people like to call it 'Little Friday'.  So here is a song to get you through the last part of the week.  "Go For It"  comes from what was Shalamar's fifth album released in 1981 on the Solar record label called Go For It.  The album features 'classic' Shalamar line-up (Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett and Jody Watley). Daniel has confirmed that Go For It and Friends were recorded at the same time.  However because of distribution disputes due to changing of labels, this album didn't get the promotion it deserved and the garish cover-art was also the subject of negative comment.  I actually love the cover! The only single released was "Sweeter as the Days Go By" and the album  only peaked at #18 on the R&B chart and #115 on the Billboard chart.  I simply love this song not only for the message but also for the great violin breaks. Happy little Friday and enjoy!

Go For It - Shalamar - Solar

Go For It (Rare German Pressing)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where Do I Go

...."Where do I go...follow my heart"....This is a perfect example of the disco saturation that happened during the late '70s when disco music started to wear off and became a novelty.  However, there where some great records produced during this age of absurdity and niche market productions.  Disco Spectacular Inspired by the film "Hair" is one of those exceptions.  New York producer Warren Shatz turned an intense, wide-ranging musical whirlwind, with a great deal of help from guest vocalists Evelyn "Champagne" King and unrestrained disco chanteuse Vicki Sue Robinson, who had appeared in Hair on Broadway.  I have to say that the minimal arrangements and soulful vocals actually deliver the musical message of Utopian hedonism better than the original Broadway production here.  by giving the familiar songs unforgettable new hooks on "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" featured here.  Also,  the guitar solo of my favorite track here "Where Do I Go?" which spotlights the amazing New York Community Choir, has a great late '70's Santana feel.  I'm loving these disco interpretations of Hair! Enjoy

Where Do I Go - New York Community Choir - EMI

Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In - Evelyn "Champagne"  King - EMI

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sea And The Sky

What a beautiful weekend it was indeed.  I spent some time at the beach yesterday and it was lovely. Therefore, I am inspired to post this song fittingly titled "The Sea And The Sky" by a great music production called Future Loop Foundation.  I'm loving this song such much and I'm reluctant to post it being that is such a fairly recent release.  Future Loop Foundation is the brainchild of Sheffield born, British DJ and record producer Mark Barrot.  He has released several albums since 1995 and many of his songs have been featured on some of the Cafe Del Mar compilations.  Most of his music has been on the ambient and/or drum and bass side with a touch of epic cinematic score.  Needless to say,  this music has had incredible dance potential.   Included here is a great remix by Padded Cell (aka Richard Sen and Neil Beatnik) and the original from their 2008 EP The Sea & The Sky.  The original is a beautiful and uplifting orchestral down tempo, where strings and brass collide with pounding drums.  I learned that this track was used as the main indent for Sky Movies last year, in TV promos for upcoming films.  This remix was also featured on their most recent Just Music EP called The Fading Room: Memories & Remixes.  This remix has an amazing driving house sound, cosmic space and bongos that would sound perfect at any disco .  Enjoy!

The Sea And The Sky (Padded Cell Remix) - Future Loop Foundation

The Sea and The Sky (Original Version) - Future Loop Foundation

The Fading Room - Memories & Remixes

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You Got The Love

...."sometimes I feel like throw my hands up in the air....I know I can count on you".....Whenever I hear those words I always feel a rush of inspiration and tingling whether on the dance floor or  simply just walking around.   This incredible club classic by the Source featuring the legendary first Lady of Southern soul Candi Staton.  I could also add she holds the throne among the first ladies of Disco with classics such as "Young Hearts Run Free", "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" and "Victim" to name a few.  "You Got the Love" came later in the mid 80's in it's original form and was then a club-style dance hit that has sold two million copies and is considered a seminal classic of the early '90s dance scene leading to many remixes and cover versions too many to mention here.  Here, I chose to feature three different versions.  The Source's club version, the original 1986 release and the short  and more dramatic version which is more hip pop flavored.  They are all totally different in structure yet they all have a timeless emotional power lyrically and musically. Candi Staton is still very active on the music scene and recently was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame. She has definitely got the love the see me through! Enjoy

You Got The Love (Original 1986 Version) - The Source featuring Candi Station

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Today it has been a beautiful day in the city filled with early Autumn air  and culminating with an intense half moon.  This inspired me to post a a song by the iconic Kate Bush.  "Cloudbusting" is not necessarily a full fledged dance song per say; however, this song can be played on any dance floor and I can tell you that it would probably get the most jaded ones moving  and then some with such an epic of a song.  This song was the second single released from her no. 1 1985 album Hounds of Love.  This song is a look at a special relationship between a boy and his father.  It describes psychologist Wilhelm Reich's arrest and imprisonment through the eyes of his young song, Peter.  Reich's son later wrote his father's story in the book A Book Of Dreams, published in 1973, on which the song is based.  Wilhelm Reich is the inventor of the cloudbuster.  A cloudbuster is a rain machine that looks very much like the machine that is pictured on the cover of this single.  The music video is fantastic, it features Donald Sutherland playing the role of Wilhelm Reich and Bush playing the part of his young son, Peter.  It's divine! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Edits by Mr. K Vol. 2

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing one of my favorite DJs around, Mr. Danny Krivit  who's holding the torch by keeping the spirit alive at his now legendary 718 Sessions at Santos Party House.  His party is what I believe,  to be the only one that captures the spirit of dance music properly now days.  The set was flawless and it kept me dancing all night long featuring many classics such as James Brown's "Get On The Good Foot" and  Touch's "Without You" to name a few.  The party was a celebration of his release of Volume 2 of his amazing edits series called  Edits by Mr. K Vol. 2.  So here is one of my current favorite "Let Me Down Easy" by Rare Pleasure and what a pleasure it is to hear  and dance to this tune.  According the the liner notes from this must have fabulous CD,  "this song is a scarce 1976 release from Cheri Records and a song that has grown in stature to a full fledge disco bomb, thanks in part to its relentless piano line and honeyed vocal from a young Sandy Barber (who later recorded the house smash 'Make World Go Round') which brings back memories of Johnny Dynell dropping this one at the legendary mid '90s party, Jackie 60.   The piano riff of this song, a clear precursor to the standard groove of early house music that was sampled prominently by David Morales for his 1998 hit 'Needin' U' (which took it's title hook from the Chi-Lites 'My First Mistake'). Danny Krivit wrote: "This was a big club record.  I thought of it as an extension of the Philly sound.  It's one of the first 12" singles too, in that first year." Enjoy!

Make The World Go Round - Sandy Barber

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September Mix

September is here and it always feels like an intense month.  Seasons change, historical  events and/or defining moments seem to fall around this time whether catastrophic ones or just time defining.  September seems to stand for a time for change as well.   This mix here reflects a myriad of feelings and musical reflections that seem to be somehow disjointed yet harmonious.  Some of he musical selections are rather obtuse.  I can only say that this mix has a life of his own.  Enjoy!

Track Listing:

  1.  Intro : Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves - 
       Jean Moreau/ Glamjack
  2.  Forever Mix 2 -  Chez Damier and Stacey Pullen 
  3. A.I.E. A Mwana (T-Kolai Special Edit) - Black Blood 
  4. The Bewlay Brothers - David Bowie
  5. Solitaire 2001 - Afrohouse
  6. Come On, Come On - NYC Peech Boys
  7. Nice and Slow (Instrumental) - Jesse Green
  8. Amor, Amor - Rod McKuen
  9. Lost In You Like A Chinese Cookie - Guy Gerber
10. Silver Thrust - Peter Reno
11. Ethique Infinie - Alexis Le Tan and Allo Rodolphe
12. Underbelly - Wild Beasts
13. Call Me - Mark E.
14. My Movie Like Life - Future Loop Foundation
15. New York Story - Lee Douglas

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dance Your Ass Off

Here is a song by one of the most sophisticated disco sound I've ever heard.   The Atlanta native, Hamilton Bohannon is one of my favorite and leading figures of Disco music during the '70s.   He was pretty much discovered by Stevie Wonder when he hired him to be the percussionist for his tour band.  He moved to Detroit and became part of the Motown family.  He was then signed with Dakar/Brunswick Records and released a series of albums on which he perfected his formula of heavy, thudding bass accents and aggressive rhythms creating pretty much the footprint for the next wave of disco. This song comes from the 1976 album Dance Your Ass Off which became his last release from Brunswick Records.  "Dance Your Ass Off"  is the title cut that opens up side one on this fantastic record for nearly eight minutes with it's bold, sweeping use of strings which adds a new texture to his usual formula making it more stylish.  In 1976, Bohannon left his old record company and signed to Mercury Records and two years later had his biggest success with "Lets Start The Dance". Bohannon is a devout Christian and dedicated this album to "God and His Song Jesus Christ".  This album also included a disclaimer that "The word 'ass' is not used here in the sense of profanity".  His music has been sampled to death and I can safely say that Prince looks up to him for inspiration.  Enjoy and dance your ass off with this one!

Very Best of

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Love Chant

I hope you all had a great Labor Day Weekend.  It is back to school folks and here is a sexy, sleek song from 1976 called "Love Chant" by Eli's Second Coming.  Created by MFSB musician Bobby Eli, who produced this sex song complete with whispered females singing "Ooo spend the night, let me hold you," and a closing climax; this is the Part II version, which is longer and more effective.  Part I is only 3:30 minutes long.  That's too much of a quickie! I also discovered on my researches that Eli also later went on to produce the amazing '80s R&B group Atlantic Starr.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New York City

Labor Day weekend in the city and it is only appropriate that I feature an incredible song called "New York City" by Czech musician Miroslav Vitous.   Born in Prague, he began playing the violin at age six, piano at ten and bass at fourteen. As a young man in Europe, Vitous was a competitive swimmer who actually played in the Olympics.  Moving to New York City in the mid '60s in order to be part  the vibrant music that was sprouting and with his virtuoso jazz bass playing skills led critics to place him in the same league with the luminaries from the budding jazz/rock fusion movement.  He founded the seminal group Weather Report and then parted ways to continue to pursue a solo career.  "New York City" comes from the 1976 LP called Magical Shepherd.  "NYC" is an almost ten minute synthesizer symphony full of eerie effects and chanted vocals; it featured musicians: Herbie Hancock, Airto Moreira and James Gadson.  It is weird, fascinating and a little freaky, just like this wonderful city.  I highly recommend a listen.

New York City - Miroslav Vitous - Warner Brothers

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back with Brooklyn Dreams

Back in Brooklyn from a nice vacation.  I saw Las Vegas, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Then I was off to Lafayette, Louisiana to meet my new two month old nephew.  Life is good and had a great time traveling, site seeing and spending time with family.  Now I'm back in old NYC and excited to be posting in Disco Monk again.  Here is a song called "Music, Harmony and Rhythm" by Brooklyn Dreams from their self titled Casablanca debut 1977 album.  Brooklyn Dreams was composed of  Joe "Bean" Esposito, Eddie Hokenson and Bruce Sudano.  Esposito provided lead vocals for the band and played guitar, while Sudano played keyboards and Hokenson played drums.  Their biggest hit was "Heaven Knows", Donna Summer's single which featured Esposito on the second lead and the group singing backup.  Later on they released Sleepless Nights and Joy Ride in 1979 with some commercial success.  Esposito went on to solo success with numerous movie soundtracks, notably Flashdance, The Karate Kid and Coming To America. I love this song and it puts me in the right mood and looking forward to Autumn.  I hope this does the same to you.  Enjoy!

Music, Harmony and Rhythm - Brooklyn Dreams - Casablanca

Brooklyn Dreams