Tuesday, February 28, 2012

El Fen

Here is a fabulous North African disco song that has become sort of the holy grail for disco enthusiast.  "El Fen" is one of the most sought after arabic disco records since this 12" was only issued in very limited quantities on the Stip records label from France in 1976.  Ait Meslayene was a traditional singer from from Kabyle, Algeria. He moved to Paris and was influenced to make a "disco" record which was the trend at the time.  I was informed the drummer of this song is an American from the funk group Ice and was hired to play during the recording of this masterpiece.  The original recording pressing of this LP goes for 500 Euros. Ouch!  I was lucky to get my hands of this re-release for only $13 at Academy records.  By the way, the other song "Yemma" is beautiful and I'm planning on including it on the upcoming Glamjack mix coming to you soon.  In the meantime enjoy "El Fen"!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Body & Soul "A Night of Classics" at Le Poison Rouge

Last night the Body & Soul magic trio of DJs Joe Clausell, Francois K and Danny Krivit served an unforgettable night of classics.  The night was filled with a lot of the old school Vinyl and Paradise Garage crowd.  There were many wonderful classics played with a stunning club homage to Whitney Houston's "Love Save The Day" and later through out the evening the climactic Jennifer Holiday's recent Grammy rendition of "I Will Always Love You" followed by the fierce dance version of "Thinking About You".  There were so many classic moments too many to mention here as I danced to the wee hours.  Thank you Body & Soul for making a beautiful party. Here are some of the songs I feel pretty much captured last evening evening. Enjoy

Now off to the Oscars! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Andy Warhol

Disco Photography: Halston, Malanga, Minelli, Bianca, Warhol at Studio 54
Today exactly 25 years ago Andy Warhol died due to complications from a routine hospital procedure.   The prophetic pop artist who defined decades by cleverly embracing celebrity, art, commerce, branding and multi media is continuing influencing popular culture to this day.  I wonder what New York would be like if he would still be alive roaming the streets with his shopping bags wearing his iconic silver wig.  Here is a homage song written by Lou Reed evoking the spirit of the man himself "I'm Waiting For The Man" by the Velvet Underground.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Won't Lay Back

Happy Fat Tuesday..."laizzes les bons temps rouler".  Wishing you all a very happy Mardi Gras to everyone specially to my family and friends in the South!  These last few days I have been traveling and commuting with nature. I feel recharged and glad to be back in our beloved city.  Here is some new retro sounding slamming house that has nothing to do with Mardi Gras from Tevo Howard and Rick Poppa Howard.  This is a fierce father and son collaboration titled "I Won't Lay Back".  Tevo Howard grew up in Chicago and started spinning records when he was a mere teenager in 1987.  In 2008 he created his own label Beautiful Granville and has been delivering some amazing dance floor jacking Chicago house.  Previously, he released "About Fourteen" and "Do What You Have To Do" featuring his father on vocals.  Tevo has already an extensive library of releases and has worked with Tracey Thorn and Prins Thomas.  This is second release together with his father and I must say that they even go deeper and much rawer with great depth and musicality this time around.  This EP release features a great instrumental version, original and an brilliant remix of "About Fourteen".  I wonder if that was the age when he was introduced to house music? Anyhow these songs are redefining the glory days of late '80s house and carrying the torch of house music by keeping it strong, alive and well lit.  I hear he is working on a full LP that is scheduled to be released this year.  I'm featuring the Underground Vocal Mix here for your enjoyment.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Disco Photography

I'm not sure where this was taken or the identity of this fabulous creatures of the night.  Maybe this could have been taken during a night out at Studio 54?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines with The Emotions

Disco Monk wishes you a Happy Valentines Day with The Emotions.  This fabulous R&B all girl trio were the Hutchinson sisters from Chicago and they are one of my all time favorite of the girl groups. They made impeccable and well produced music during the late '60s and '70s. They were also associated with Earth, Wind and Fire by performing live with them and collaborating on their timeless classic "Boogie Wonderland". They also worked with the late Issac Hayes as well.  Ms. Wanda, Pamela and Sheila were huge on the dance floors 1976 with their dance classic "I Don't Want To Loose You" and "Best Of My Love" from their LP  Flowers released that same year.  My friend Wiki told me that they still continue to perform and make personal appearances.   So here is one of their lesser known early singles from 1969 that I could always dance to and just seems fitting for this Valentine's Day.  Wishing you a lot of love always and specially today. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston 1963 - 2012

Today we mourn one of the greatest voices of our times.  Whitney Houston was undeniable a true diva and will always be remembered.  From her beginnings in Newark, New Jersey as a choir girl under her mom's Cissy Houston, her cousin Dione Warwick and her godmother, Aretha Franklyn's guidance and inspiration.  Her stunning looks and modeling career and then molded to perfection by Clive Davis making the world love the voice and the woman behind it.  Her life struggles aside, her voice was  her gift and that will always remain pure no matter what.  I remember being 18 years old when I heard her first LP and was blown away instantly by her voice and beauty.  She gave us countless and unforgettable number one hits that became the soundtrack of our lives.  On the dance floor,  she gave us so many memories and made pop music fun to dance to again from the emblematic "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" to "Love Will Save The Day", "I'm Every Woman", "Queen Of The Nigh", "Heartbreak Hotel", "It's Not Right But It's Ok", "My Love Is Your Love", "I Learned from The Best", "Watchulookinat", "Love That Man", "Try It On My Own" and recently "Million Dollar Bill" which is featured here.  Those songs were all number ones on the US Dance Chart.  There was not a night out where you didn't hear a Whitney song in the clubs or on the radio during the past three decades.  She was so full of life and her energy and magic was spread on the dance floor every time one of her songs would be played.  Countless mixes, remixes, edits have been made of her songs and even some bad remixes but it didn't matter because as soon as her voice would start, we were there on that dance floor.  Here is the acapella version of "Love Will Save The Day" to prove it and of course the David Morales and Jellybean Benitez classic house mix. There is a huge void in music today.  My heart goes out to her family and friends.  Bless your soul and hope you found peace!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Living On The Frontline - Frontline Symphony

In 1979,  Guyanese legend Eddy Grant released the major dance classic "Walking On Sunshine" and it became an instant hit on the dance floors.  The other song that was actually released first form his LP  Walking On Sunshine was "Living On The Frontline'.  This was a more "reggaefied" dance song and it is quite the tune that grows on you like a tsunami with its unique riffs making this a classic electro reggae song with such poignant lyrics dealing with black on black violence .  Here is the long version together with the "Frontline Symphony"which takes the listener on another plateau making this a great song to celebrate Black History month.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Best Of Disco Demands

This is a fabulous collection of rare disco from the '70s titled Disco Demands with a total of 45 offerings compiled and re-edited by legendary Scottish DJ Al Kent.  This might be new music as far as I'm concerned except maybe for the serious connoisseur and to tell you the truth, I was only familiar with maybe two or three tracks out of the myriad of amazing thumping disco treasures that make up this comprehensive time capsule.  Al Kent has been releasing music on BBE and his own Million Dollar Disco label and released work as Million Dollar Orchestra and has organized many legendary parties for the past decade.  With so many recent disco edits popping out right and left these days, this one here is a must have for all of you disciples of disco.  The edits here a very subtle with perhaps an extension of a intro or the cutting a bridge shorter here and there.   These tracks are pure joy with grooves destined to transform any party into a dance floor or better yet, on an actual dance venue a few tracks have definitely classic potential.  There are way too many stand out cuts to mention here but I must say that Alex And His Soul Messenger's "Hail To Guyana" is pure raw cosmic funk disco rapture.  Also, "Disco Boogie Woman" by the Universal Robot Band could easily be a classic already.  Other stand outs are "Just Friends" by Silver, Platinum and Gold.  I could go on and on about this brilliant tapestry of disco exotica but instead I will just encourage you to purchase this.  The digital format is worth the price for all the songs you'll meet on this fantastic compilation.  Here are the Universal Robot Band and Alex And His Soul Messengers giving to it you rare. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Birthday to Disco Monk

Happy Birthday Disco Monk! I has been exactly two years since the inception of this blog devoted to all things Disco, House, Leftfield, Edits, Re-Edits, and the new now and anything in between.  I must confess that it has been a fantastic journey so far trying discovering and digging deeper into the unusual and worth noting dance sounds that never saw the light of the disco dance floors.   Thanks to all of you disco, dance floor lovers and disciples for keeping the love of this genre alive and well.  I am pleased to discover the viewership of Disco Monk have grown tremendously within the past two years.   I have to say that with all the darkness around us nowadays and such sense of doom, we all could use a little dose of some disco distraction to keep us going.  So here is some Brazil inspired rare disco tune that  I happened to stumbled upon recently that has put me in a great mood by Alice Street Gang. Very little is known about them except that they were a studio outfit from Italy and it was produced and arranged by Daniel Salinas in 1976. The LP contains discotopian Brazilian inspired songs that almost become novelty with such titles as "Copacabana", "Flamenco", "Chove Chuva", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again and Brazilian Hustle and the one featured here. Enjoy!