Sunday, January 30, 2011

Walkin' The Line

What a weekend!  Celebrated my dear friend Coty's birthday and what a lovely time it was.  I got to play some tunes later in the evening and here is one that brought the house down.  "Walkin' The Line" by legendary Brass Construction.  This group was formed in Brooklyn, NY in 1968 by Randy Muller when entering a talent show during Junior High School.  They were originally know as Dynamic Soul and went on to record a string of hit singles and albums through to 1985.  Their single "Movin'" reached #1 on the dance charts in 1976.  Randy Muller who was the pianist/flautist and arranger of this group went on to score a number or R&B hits with Skyy.  Over the years, Brass Construction members have included Wade Williamston (bass), Sandy Billups (percussion), Morris Price (trumpet), Larry Payton (drums), Paul C Saenz (Guitar), Jesse Ward Jr. (saxophone), Michael "Micky" Grudge (saxophone), Wayne Parris (trumpet), Duane Cahill (trombone), Joseph Arthur Wong (guitar), and of course Randy Muller.  Their songs are timeless classics and have been sampled by many hip hop acts through out the years.  Featured here is "Walkin' The Line" from their 1983 LP Conversations.  It has been re-edited to stunning results.  This song has many unexpected twists and turns with such an amazing fusion  of '80s funk and free style.  I love the message of this song and of course dancing to this one!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Going Kaputt

Snow day in the city today and so far this is the best new release of 2011! This masterpiece is  the perfect antidote for those cold winter days and it's delivered by Canadian singer/poet/songwriter Dan Bejar.  Bejar has been on the scene since 1995 releasing interesting music meshing blues, folk and glam which has led him to be sporadically compared to David Bowie by sharing the same great songwriting and unique incorporation of  lyrics/vocals.   Kaputt is his ninth LP under the Destroyer moniker fusing spacey electronics to acid jazz inspired by the music of Bryan Ferry and Gil Evans.  There are so many great songs in this release that it was difficult to choose one and settled with the emblematic and gorgeous "Song For America".  Joined by Vancouver native Sibel Thrasher on vocals, whose vocals are used beautifully and consistently on this entire record.  "Song For America" is clearly his take on retro funk with amazing lines  like "winter, spring, summer, and fall, animals crawl towards death's embrace"and easily could be the catchiest song to date.  All nine tracks are stunning including the remarkable  "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker", "Downtown" and "Bay Of Pigs" to name a few.   It is evident the new revisionist movement of  80's soft rock, synth and jazz is gaining momentum and it will make an even bigger splash this year with bands such as Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti  fronting this new pop movement.  Personally, upon first listening, I thought of the late Malcolm McLaren during his Paris period and of course Neal Tenant from Pet Shop Boys.  This record left me speechless and I highly recommend it!

Song For America - Destroyer 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Everybody Needs Somebody Sometimes

Here is an amazing disco song to warm you up during this cold winter days by the fabulous actress Ann Margret. "Everybody Needs Somebody Sometimes" was released in 1981 and became an instant club classic and reached #22 on the charts.  "Everybody...." features brilliant production and writing by Paul Sabu and highlights the soft and throaty qualities of Ann-Margret's voice. This is Larry Levan's own version where he combined (Part 2) with it's percussive and with just the right amount of horns and synths taking the dancer to new heights on the dance floor.  Ann Margret was born in Sweden and came to America in 1946.  In the 1960's she began a recording career in addition to her already notable film career.  While her music ventures didn't prove as successful, she peaked on the Billboard Charts at #17 in 1961 with her song "I Just Don't Understand".  Here is to Ann Margret with her amazing career in the movies, TV and the Disco Dance floor! Enjoy!

Everybody Needs Somebody Sometimes (Paradise Garage Version)- Ann-Margret - First American

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Come On Down Boogie People

Hands down to this fabulous disco gem by David Williams.  This is a gorgeous disco soul "call on the dane floor" song that has the capacity to elevate any party to new heights.  David was born in Trinidad, a musical prodigy at the age of five whose  father was John "Buddy" Williams, a highly regarded bassist who led his own calypso band.  He studied bass at the London College of Music and while on a visit to New York, ended up playing the bass with Gap, Chuck Mangione,  Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.   Following such amazing gigs he was called to work for The Voices of Harlem, Donald Byrd & the Blackbyrds (with whom David received his first gold record).  In 1976, David moved to LA and appeared on several studio releases with disco, funk, fusion and pop groups.  He played mostly Fender bass with artists including Herb Alpert and Hugh Masekela, David Benoit, Jermaine Jackson, Tuxedo Junction, John Klemmer, even Liberace!.  The disco hit "Le Spank" garnered another gold record during this period.  Soul is Free was his first album and it was released in 1979.  With this credentials, he is an indisputably a disco legend on his own right. Enjoy!

Come On Down Boogie People - David Williams

Monday, January 17, 2011

Body & Soul MLK Jr. Weekend

It was time again to honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. New York City style by going to the legendary Body & Soul at Webster Hall.  The party was stunning with the trio comprised of  legendary Joe Clausell, Francois K and Danny Krivit manning the turntables.  The music was exquisite with a blend of old school house and some classic disco.  Highlights were a sublime remix presented by Joe Clausell of Eddie Grant's "Timewarp"with a harmonica/bluesy break that lifted souls on that dance floor.  He actually remixed the original and added the break from "Nobody Got Time", a brilliant re-take of  the same song  by Timmy Regisford.    Also, disco classic "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth Wind & Fire brought the house down in the tradition  of B&S.  Danny Krivit dropped an exciting never heard of before, cinematic instrumental epic disco song.  I was also pleasantly surprised and taken by the early 00's house that was played with some forgotten yet amazing tracks making the evening memorable.  One such tune was Beth Orton's emblematic "Central Reservation"  elevating the song to  dance classic status.   So here is the Spiritual Life/Ibadan remix of "Central Reservation", an interesting live take of Eddy Grant's "Timewarp" from one of David Mancuso's loft parties plus Timmy Regisford's "Nobody Got Time" and "Earth Wind & Fire's classic "Boogie Wonderland" giving you  great time capsule of the event.  Enjoy!

Central Reservation (Spritual Life/Ibadan Remix) - Beth Orton

Timewarp (Live from David Mancuso's Loft) - Eddy Grant

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Here is an amazingly rare track by the one and only Carly Simon.  According to my friend Wiki,  this song was one of a string of film-inspired singles from a less successful period in her career.  Following her much publicized break-down on stage in 1980 it was recorded for the movie Soup For One in 1982.  The movie flopped but the soundtrack was a success.  The song was produced by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers of Chic fame.  This was a move away from the usual guitar-based hits of Simon's past, and many saw it  as an ill fated attempt at disco as musical tastes changed in the 80's.  However, the bittersweet reggae tinged ballad became quite a huge hit in Europe and the Paradise Garage here in New York City.  Larry Levan would play this version during the peak hours taking the dancers on a frenzy.  "Why" is centered  around the phrase "Why does your love, hurt so much?" and Simon sings perhaps one of her must heartfelt and yearning vocals to date on the track.  However, despite this sad subject matter, the song also became well known for its catchy refrain "La di-da, di-da".  In 1989 the song re-surfaced on the Ibiza "Hacienda" scene and cemented its status as a mellow classic.  Known for its bass-line and funky drums it was then that the growing hip-hop scene in the USA began to pick up and it was has been sampled by A Tribe Called Quest and Glamma Kid.  Also, Wham used to cover this song during various tours between 1984 and 1986. Talk about cross over!   Enjoy

Why (12" Paradise Garage Mix) - Carly Simon - WEA

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nga Nga (Love And Death)

Here is a recent discovery called "Love and Death"  from legendary Ghanaian composer, arranger, producer and guitarist who is considered together with Fela Kuti as the face of Afrobeat Ebo Taylor. According to my friend google, Taylor actually studied with Kuti from 1962 to 1965 at the Eric Guilder School of Music in London.  Soon after, Taylor became a fixture in Ghana's music scene becoming a major key in defining the West African sound.  Strut records has given the now 74-year old Taylor a chance to record another proper full-lenght, re imagining old standards and crafting original songs too backed by Berlin's Afrobeat Academy.   On Love And Death,  in place of the raw antiqued crackle of his vintage material,  here you have a glossed, digital sound scape for the same horn sections, noodling bass, keys, sunny guitars and aggressive drums. Taylor sticks with the style he played 40 years prior, singing both in English and the Akan dialect, in short complimentary phrases.  Although his voice my have aged, he retains the same vitality from the past.   Enjoy!

Love & Death

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Love Is

 Here is a brilliant re-work Al Green's 70's classic "Love & Happiness from Nicholas of the Small World Disco Edits series.  Last night  I celebrated the New Year New York style by going to the event:  Keep On Dancin' Remembering Mel Cheren with the music of The Paradise Garage. A benefit party organized by Lifebeat, GMHC and Area at Santos Party House for AIDS/HIV prevention.  It was quite a party and a truly New York experience to be surrounded and dancing with many veteran Paradise Garage members. We danced to the wee hours to the classics and saw a great performance by Ten City's front man Byron Stingily who did an amazing renditions of "Devotion" and "That's The Way Love Is" and not to mention Sylvester's "Mighty Real".  The turn tables were manned by Jellybean Benitez, David Depino and Joey Llanos all great legendary DJ's that never fail to amaze.  "Love & Happiness" by First Choice brought the house down so here is another twist of that song that has taken Al Green's classic to new heights.  The night ended with the original version of left field dance classic "Voices Inside My Head" by The Police.   Love is and long live the Paradise Garage!

Voices Inside My Head - The Police

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Here is another fierce house song to start the year.   This is a debut from Brighton's Maxxi Soundsystem released on Kojak label.  It is a fantastic deep and heavy rub of  R&B singer Alexander's O'Neal's late 80's "Criticize"from his LP Hearsay.  The original is totally '80s cheese yet still hold it's own by being O'Neal's biggest UK hit to date.  I couldn't resist to feature the original as well ,but it is the Maxxi Soundsystem version that is quite a treat by adding dub synths with an old school house vibe adding more of kick and power. If this version would have been released in 1987, it would have become a house classic.  Maxxi Soundsystem has been around for ten years rocking dance floors in their hometown re-editing a lot of the  tracks they play.  I have heard they are starting to release their own material!  Enjoy

Criticize - Maxxi Soundsytem - Kojak

Criticize (Original Remix) - Alexander O'Neal - Tabu

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Miracles Club

I hope everyone had a great holidays and a happy New Year.  It's sort of bitter sweet to get back to the city and embrace the swing of things.  The time spent with family and friends was unforgettable and beautiful.  I'm happy to be back posting here and what a better way to ring the new year with an interesting new discovery.  The Miracles Club is a band that is hard to believe is from Portland, Oregon.  The have have come up with clever and  stellar tribute to old-school acid house!  This is clearly a love letter to 1989 with great authenticity using raw 909 sequences that never seem to sound obsolete.   Last year, they released their debut EP's  called Light Of Love and later followed by A New Love.  Stand outs are the peculiar covers of Marshall Jefferson's house classic "Jack Your Body" and Fingers Inc. "Can You Feel It".  Their original work is not to be dismissed here with the ethereal and sweet "Light Of Love" and the campy "Church Song" featured here.  The video is also a must see.  Click here to watch it.  You are in for a treat! It is intriguing how this band is crossing the lines between parody and homage.  The other song featured here is a psychedelic sounding song called "Chango (White Rainbow Mix)" filled with effective drones and wails on top of driving drum machines.  Welcome back 1989!  Enjoy!

Church Song - The Miracles Club - Mexican Summer

Chango (White Rainbow Mix) - The Miracles Club - Mexican Summer