Friday, October 29, 2010

Looking From A Hilltop

Here is a song that I haven't heard since 1985.  "Looking From A Hilltop" is undeniable one of my top 5 dance classic songs from the '80s.  Whenever I would hear this song which was usually mixed at the discos right after  Kraftwerk's "Music Nonstop", I would melt and become one with the song.  According to my friend Wikipedia, Section 25 was considered a post punk band when it formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in 1977 by  brothers Larry Cassidy (bass, vocals) and Vicent Cassidy (drums).  They were signed by Factory Records and initially produced by Ian Curtis and  Rob Gretton of Joy Division with their debut LP Always Now.   In 1983, joined by percussionist Lee Shallcorss, they gradually evolved a more electronic-dance direction, a process that culminated in the album From The Hip and the single featured here, released in 1984 and produced by Bernard Sumner of New Order featuring Angela Flowers  aka Angela Cassidy (vocals, keyboards) and Jenny Ross (vocals, keyboards).  Making this single their most popular song. They continued to record in 1988 with Love & Hate, then made a come back in 2007 with Part-Primitiv,  in 2009 with Nature + Degree and  in 2010 with Retrofit which featured some great remixes of their early work.   Sadly, Jenny Ross passed away in 2004 and recently founder member Larry Cassidy also passed away in  February of this year.  I truly enjoy listening and dancing to their music. There are several great mixes for this song around, however the Megamix version serves it right. Enjoy!

From the Hip

Check out the video of Version 2 here. It features one the first cell phones. It was gigantic! Love It!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Soul Dracula

Here is a song that I have been wanting to post since starting this blog but rather waited and deemed more appropriate to post around this time of the year even though I feel this song could probably do well anytime of the year.  "Soul Dracula" by Hot Blood was officially released in the US in December of 1975 and was extremely popular at the Discos as a French import first.  Hot Blood was actually a German disco production that featured many notable Munich session players such as Keith Forsey, Gary Unwin and Pepe Solera.  This was a very mysterious release that made a huge impact around dancers and DJs during that time.  The production was superb and rather unique full of lush electronic effects.  Specially the chorus part with the bongo section added making this song a disco and kitsch classic.  This was released as a single but was featured in their full length LP appropriately titled Disco Dracula in 1977 which also included the singles, "Sex Me" and "Terror On The Dancefloor".   This a great song and the entire LP is a must have if wanting  to kick start the spirit of Halloween on the disco dance floor.  Enjoy

Soul Dracula - Hot Blood Era

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Magia Negra (Black Magic)

October month brings such a myriad of feelings and in the same case could be said in musical tastes.  In the spirit of all things dark here is a song called "Black Magic feat. Rebolledo" by an amazing outfit that I recently discovered called Superpitcher.  This a fairly recent release from their full length LP Kilimanjaro.  Superpitcher is the stage name of German producer Aksel Schaufler who is affiliated with Cologne's Kompakt music label.  Superpitcher made his firs appearance in 2000 with the song "Shadows".  In 2001, he contributed a track called "Tomorrow", "Heroin" and a cover of Brian Eno's "Baby's On Fire".   Also, Superpitcher and Michael Mayer have collaborated  under the pseudonym Supermayer and did a brilliant remix of Rufus Wainwright's "Tiergarden" that I highly recommend to give it a listen .  Black Magic comes from Kilimanjaro, the latest offering by this amazing young producer who is very well in touch with the origins of cosmic disco, 80's electronic and early tech house.  The entire album is engaging from start to finish.  This song is one of my favorites.  Enjoy!

Black Magic feat. Rebolledo (Original Mix) - Superpitcher - Kompakt


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Running Away

Here is a song from the late '80s that I always enjoy listening.  Lately, I have been noticing a re-hash of a sort of post New Romantic/London preppy look in terms of fashion.  Naturally, I must imagine that some re-birth of this music that went along with this "look" should have new consideration as well.  Think Spandau Ballet, Haircut 100, The Style Council and Echo & The Bunnyman.  All great bands that deserve their own posting for their great contributions to dance music.  Recently, I posted a song by Fun Boy Three and it awoke renewed enthusiasm for this era of dance music.  The Colourfield was a British band formed in 1984 in Manchester by former Specials and Fun Boy Three front man Terry Hall with ex-Swingin Cats members Toby Lyons and Karl Shale.  "Running Away" was from their 1987 album Deception and it was remake by Sly & The Family Stone and here it gets the Arthur Baker treatment to stunning effects .   I vividly recalled hearing and dancing to this song for the first time at a great New Wave club in Baton Rouge called Xantus.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It has been a  hectic beginning of a week so I will be brief with this posting.   Here is a song that I've been thinking about for the past few days.  "Motherland" by Tribal House featuring Pierre Salandy and Karen Bernod.  Released in 1990 this was an underground house favorite.  Produced by Wiston Jones, this club classic was co-written by Karen Bernod.  Karen is best known for her unique vocal harmonies and as a background singer for Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, C&C Music Factory and D'Angelo.  This is no exception, with such catchy rhythms and deep pounding beats that evoke the spirit of Africa.  I just love it  when I hear Pierre's chant..."A-fri-ca...A A A A-fri-ca"...."Mama Africa" and I am there.  Are you there? Enjoy.

Motherland A-fri-ca (Freedom Mix) - Tribal House featuring Pierre Salandy and Karen Bernod - Pow Wow Records

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Love Tempo

It has been a hectic week and did not get a chance to do any postings.  Here I am back with dance classic "Love Tempo" by Quando Quango.  This short lived British, Manchester based new wave and dance project, formed by The Hacienda DJ and Factory Records A&R man Mike Pickering, Hillengonda Rietveld and Reiner Rietveld brought a unique sound that influenced the underground music scenes in New York and Chicago in the 1980's.  Their first release was the "Go Exciting" twelve-inch single in 1982, and their last release of new music was the 1985 full length album Pigs & Battleships.  They are best known for "Love Tempo" which reached number four on the US Billboard Dance Chart, and "Atom Rock".  Their sound was the result of an eclectic mix of Latin, jazz, reggae and disco, all in pioneering New Wave context.  Hillegonda Rietveld said, describing the group's music, "...Fela Kuti meets Kraftwerk somewhere between Manchester and Rotterdam, part of a new wave of post-punk electronica, with a whole lot of Mike Pickering's admirably broad knowledge of soul, disco, reggae and pop to stuff the gaps".  Bernard Summer of Joy Division and New Order, who produced early Quando Quango recordings, was a major influence on the group also and you can actually witness this episode on the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People which managed to capture this period in music succesfully.  The group was originally formed in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1980 and after they released of Pigs & Battleships, they went on to collaborate with other acts such as Spasmodique,  A Certain Ratio's  Simon Toppin, Lisa Stansfield and M People under Pickering's tutelage.  This song was later included on the Disco Not Disco compilations albums. It is time for "Love Tempo" and hope you enjoy it!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love So Special

Last night I went to Body & Soul held at Webster Hall and it was incredible.  Legendary trio Joaquin "Joe" Clausell, Francois K and Danny Krivit turned it out by playing a well balanced set filled with amazing classics.  The sound system was top notch this time and it literally blew my mind. The crowd was beautiful and positive. The song that kick started me was Mission Control's "Outta Limit". I haven't heard this song on a big sound system in ages and it was an incredible experience.  Other highlights were Sharon Brown's fierce "I Specialize In Love" and Ceybil's "Love So Special" featured here.   "Love So Special" is one of those passionate, timeless, and fluid house songs that always brings the house down and last night was no exception.  My body was sore from dancing by the end of the night but it was so worth it and "oohhh so special".  Enjoy!

Love So Special (Extended Original Underground Mix) - Ceybil - Atlantic

Love So Special (Tony's Funky Bass Mix) - Ceybil - Atlantic

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Our Lips Are Sealed

Happy Saturday.  It has been a glorious day today in the city.  Here is a song by short lived English New Wave band Fun Boy Three.  The band ran from 1981 to 1983 and was formed by Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Goldin after they left The Specials.  This was the trio's last UK hit from the album Waiting, co-written by Terry Hall and Jane Weilding of The Go-Go's, who had scored a U.S. hit with the song a year earlier.  These guys are also credited with helping launch the career of Bananarama.  I'm digging this song a lot, aside from the familiarity of the original version, the dance/reggae/ska flavor brings a smile to my face upon hearing it.  This is the special remix version and the Urdu version.  Enjoy.

Our Lips Are Sealed (Special Remix Version) Fun Boy Three - Chrystalis

Our Lips Are Sealed (Urdu Version) - Fun Boy Three - Chrystalis

Disco Photography

Refreshments at New York, NY  photo: Toby Old
I've decided to add a bit of photography to spice things up here.  It will be under the heading of Disco Photography.  It will be of photos that captured the spirit of the discos.  Enjoy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have been listening to some '80s stuff lately from bands such as Naked Eyes self titled LP,  Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark's Architecture and Morality and It's Immanterial's Life's Hard And Then You Die.  All of them seminal '80s albums that have paved the way to some of this new keyboard/electronic
"folk" we have been hearing lately.  I am going to focus on the band It's Immanterial for this posting.  I happen to think their music has aged extremely well and still manage to sound so fresh.  I'm not sure what it is but every time I hear songs like "Driving Away from Home", "Ed's Funky Dinner" and "Washing The Air" to name a few, they bring such amazing joy and no matter how many times I listen to them, I always discover something new.  Hailing from Liverpool, England and formed in 1980 by three former members of  a band called Yacht, John Campbell (vocals), Martin Dempsey (guitar), and Henry Priestman (keyboards) in addition Paul Barlow (drums).  By 1984 the band had been reduced to a duo with Campbell and Jarvis Whitehead, (guitar and keyboards), who joined in 1982.  In 1985, "Space" was first released on one of their fourth and final  John Peel session.  In 1986, they released their first full length album, Life's Hard And Then You Die.  Their music is known for it's subdued, understated nature, with wry wit in the manner of an indie version of the Pet Shop Boys.  Their essence and brilliance lies not only in their eclecticism by mixing, new wave, country, blues, folk, and synth pop in order to keep a wide canvas keeping their albums fresh from beginning to end but also in the dance possibilities of most of their music catalogue.  During the early '90s, they released their last album called Song.  It wasn't a huge commercial success as their previous effort but nevertheless it receive positive reviews by the music press.  I heard the group also recorded a third full album with the working title of "House of Sale".  According to Campbell it is finished and still in the vault.  They shopped it around but could not find a label to release it.  He said they were told it was too "dark".  They were never dark for my taste! Enjoy.

Space (He Called From The Kitchen) Disco Mix - It's Immaterial - Siren

Life's Hard And Then You Die

Monday, October 4, 2010

Trouble Maker

I am ashamed to admit I had just discovered this amazing disco diva recently but it's never too late and what makes this more exiting than to keep discovering more disco brilliance.  Trouble Maker is an incredible LP.   It was produced by the team who transformed Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte.  Like Summer (who contributes backgrounds here) Kelly is an American (from Los Angeles) who was living in Germany and  had some level of success there before the States.  "Trouble Maker" at 8:48 wasn't quite the tour de force "Love To Love You Baby" was back then, it more than made up for what it lacks in minutes an seconds with an incredible, smoothly soaring drive and grace.  The song combines the spirit of '60s girl group nastiness ("Trouble maker, stop spreadin' all those bad lies/Trouble maker, 'cause you ain't gettin' my guy") with the delicious violin-laced production that became the trademark of German-made disco music.  The singing is vibrant, the break is superb and full of pounding drums and the overall affect is overwhelming in the best sense.  When Vince Aletti first heard of Roberta Kelly he wrote: "Flawless" is an overused word on the New York disco scene, but it's the right word here.  There are four other cuts on the Kelly album, three of them over six minutes,  two of them excellent disco material: 'Love Power' and 'The Family'.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Good To Me

Today was such a beautiful day with Fall weather in full force.  Here is a song that was mentioned by a nice commenter from  a previous posting.  "Good To Me" is a great late '70s full energy disco classic by THP.  The THP Orchestra as it was called before was a Euro-Disco outfit that recorded in Toronto, Canada.  Even though they were not based in Europe, their three albums produced by Ian Guenther and Willi Morrison,  reflected the type of sleek, hard pounding, high energy dance music that was coming out of Germany, France and other European countries at the time.  THP made its vinyl debut in 1977, when it recorded Two Hot for Love!.  The LP was ignored by pop/top 40 radio in the U.S., but that didn't prevent it from becoming a club hit.  THP, whose lineups varied from one album to the next then released Tender Is The Night in 1978.  In 1979 they switched record labels from Butterfly to Atlantic and released their third and final album Good To Me and that's when they dropped the "Orchestra" from the bands name and were simply going by THP.  By  1980, THP called it quits.  This a great song!  Enjoy