Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Two Man Sound: Que Tal America

Last night I was watching a funny heartfelt Peruvian film titled Octubre about a money lender. The funniest part was when a borrower was giving his record collection as collateral and one of the records was Two Man Sound's dance classic Disco Samba.   Two Man Sound was a Belgian pop trio from the 70's that combined disco with samba and bossa nova.  Their signature hit  was "Charlie Brown" and the medley "Disco Samba" which became a huge hit in Europe in 1980.  "Que Tal America" was quite the underground disco anthem in New York City during the mid to late '70s.  So here it is in it's full extended glory for your disco pleasure.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

1900 Yesterday by Betty Everett

  So crazy what's going on in this country with handguns! Something has got to change! On an lighter note, it's Friday and I'm so happy to feature this gorgeous song by Betty Everett.  Lately, I have been entering lots of vinyl that's been sitting on my shelves for months and finally have the precious time to do it.  And speaking of time here is "1900 Yesterday" from her 1969 LP  There'll Come A Time .  Ms. Everett was an American sould singer and pianist, best known for her hit single, the million-selling "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In his Kiss)". There'll Come A Time is an amazing record from beginning to end. It was co-written and produced by lead singer of The Chi-Lites, Eugene Record.  Also, Ms. Everett did a beautiful version of "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys.  Ms. Everett is no longer with us but her beautiful music and spirit lives on! Enjoy

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Sparkle: Cécile and Refleksie

It's vacation time and sorry I haven't tended this blog properly; however,  with time on my hands, I have been entering some amazing vinyl that's long been sitting on my shelves and excited to post new material.  Speaking of, here is a dance number that keeps on giving and to tell you the truth, I can't quite pin this one yet but one thing for sure it hasn't escaped my mind in weeks already.  "First Sparkle" is by Cécile and Refleksie, a collaboration between Milan-based duo Carlo Dall'Amico (Cécile) and Matteo Lavagna (Refleksie) whom have previously recorded as Esperanza.  There is a sunny, psychedelic take on dance music here with some intense hungry bass.  In "First Sparkle", a chorus from 1950's easy listening is layered with some amazing disco breaks and a great modular acid bass line that reminds me a bit of late '80s S'Express stripped down.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Disco Photography

Disco Dancing at the Cove Cabaret, Superior, Wisconsin, 1981. Photo: Bob King/Duluth Herald

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Rain, rain and more rain today in the city and here is a song that's been on my mind lately "Centipede" by Rebbie Jackson.  The eldest of the Jackson children the song was released in 1984 as the debut single from her first LP.  The song was written and produced by her brother Michael in 1984 at the hight of Thriller.  It reached #4 on Billboard's R&B chart, and was certified gold.  It was Rebbie's first and last single despite releasing more albums and a handful of singles. I discovered that singer Martha Wash actually sings some of the lead adlibs and was never credited for it.  Ironically, that is one my favorite parts of this song that brings it home with such power to this cool and soothing '80s mysterious song.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Isolee: Beau Mot Plage

Here is a house classic that makes sense during our last leg of this summer, "Beau Mot Plage" by Isolee.  The song title  means "beach beautiful word" and it  revolutionized house music and techno.  The song was created by German minimal techno producer Rajko Muller and  it propelled the term microhouse to the front.   It means stripping house music to a more minimal and sparse aesthetic by adding clicks, static, glitches, and small bits of noise where artists often experiment with different forms of sampling to achieve this effect. I remember hearing the sophistication of this tune for the first time and it blew mind.  In my book, this song pretty much kick started the twenty first century of dance music. It has been featured in countless DJ mixes and has been re-worked and re-conceptualized several times.   Nothing can beat the original though, as well as the Freedom Reform Parts I and II featured here.   The song still sounds as good and fresh as it was twelve years ago.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Saschienne: Unknown

I'm simply loving this "romantic techno" sound by German couple Saschienne.  One of Germany's great Techno producers, Sascha Funce together with his wife, the multi-instrumentalist and singer Julianne Desagnne have delivered a record rich in beauty with intricate melodies that harmonize very well with classic instrumentation combined with a simple driving techno sound giving us a uniquely human feel to all the songs from this brilliant record .  Released on German's premier record label, Kompakt in May of this year, this couple are exploring the discord that a great love can bring along with the harmony and bliss reflected clearly on the whole LP.  The visceral title song "Unknown" brings chills upon hearing Julianne's voice "This unknown...keep us together, bring us closer" with such an open attitude that can help the listener to dig deeper into this "unknown".  Here is the title song for your listening pleasure along with amazing "Cache".  I'm singling out this record as the best of 2012! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

300th Post! Summer Mix '12: For Two

This is Disco Monk's 300th post! In the tradition of this blog here is a new remix titled Summer Mix '12: For Two.  This mix explores the theme of the story line as told through songs with a slightly summer feel.  See if you can figure it out.  This one is an eclectic composition of songs starting with a stunning jazz song by Maynard Ferguson.  The mix as a whole has  a healthy dose of late '80s and early 90's house and some exciting new tunes with some unexpected twists and turns as well. There is also a new Glamjack re-edit of MSFB's "Pretty Good Lovin".  Hope you enjoy it and thank you for continuing listening and reading to this labour love.  Enjoy

Track List

  1.  Chala Nata - Maynard Ferguson
  2.  Sing It Back - Moloko
  3.  Pretty Good Lovin' (Glamjack Chopped Edit) - MFSB
  4.  Enjoy It Now (Glamjack Sprinkled Mix) - Torture Soul
  5.  Running From The Sun -  The Chromatics
  6.  Play The World - Johnick
  7.  Frankie's Seduction - Frankie "Bones"
  8.  Seduction (Club Mix)- Seduction
  9.  Who Love The Sun (Original) - Nu and Jo Ke
10.  Human Nature (Vins Dub Edit) - Michael Jackson
11.  Sea Hunt - Patrick Cowley
12.  Ai Shi Temasu - International Smoke Signal
13.  To Woo Lady Kong - Chaz Jankel
14.  Keep On Moving (Big Beat A Capella) - Soul II Soul

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Put Your Feet To The Beat

Here is a great disco stomper to put you in the mood this hot Saturday summer day by the amazing Ritchie Family.  "Put Your Feet To The Beat" was released on Casablanca Records as the single from their 1979 LP Bad Reputation.  The song marks a new direction from their previous releases as the group abandoned their exotic and kitsch costumes of their earlier incarnations in favor of a more contemporary, sexually provocative style.  The line up by that time has been replaced and consisted of Jacqui Smith-Lee, Theodisia "Dodie" Draher and Ednah Holt. The group was the brainchild the late Jacques Morali who also formed the Village People.  They were never actually sisters and the original line up consisted of four singers Jean Davis, Cassandra Wooten, Gwen Oliver and Nadine Felder. Their first hit single was a rework of the 1930's song "Brazil" in 1975.  The following year they released the concept album Arabian Nights, and it was the single "The Best Disco In Town" that took them into stardom and became a worldwide hit.  The song was essentially a medley of recent disco songs linked together with an original chorus.  Their follow up albums Life Is Music and African Queens were all concept albums featuring songs of a similar theme as suggested by each album title featuring medleys usually running from 15 to 20 minutes.  This one here has more of a Euro-pop disco feel. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Grace Jones: The Fashion Show and Don't Cry, It's Only The Rhythm

Two months ago I watched the legendary Grace Jones do an incredible rendition of "Slave To The Rhythm",  easily one her biggest hits ever, during the Queen's Jubilee concert while hula hooping at the young age of 64! As expected,  I was stunned by her but also haven't been able to forget the brilliance of this song.  I've been fortunate to see her perform live a couple of times and it has been an unforgettable experience.  As a creative force and ground breaking musician with her abundant contribution to dance music, Miss Grace Jones is a true icon and I could easily devote a whole blog about her music alone.   Instead, I will focus on the album itself since I've been wanting to do a posting dealing with the concept  based on the multi-track. Released in 1985, this masterpiece was solely based on different radical interpretations of this one song.  The entire project was written by Bruce Woolley, Simon Darlow, Stephen Lipson and the legendary Trevor Horn who produced it as well.  He introduced the idea of stripping the track to it's basic form and adding different elements such as voice overs, other instruments using some of the most interesting sound effects created out of a single melody and rhythm.  All the tracks on the album are intercepted with excerpts from a conversation about her life conducted by journalist Paul Morley, which gives the record an autobiographical feel.  Also some of the voice-overs are from actor Ian McShane reciting passages from Jean Paul Goude's biography Jungle Fever.  I'm finding hard to believe that "Slave" was originally intended for Frankie Goes To Hollywood as a follow up to their hit "Relax", but was finally given and rightly so to Miss  Jones.  There have been some other amazing concept albums but never like his one and it's worth revisiting in hopes that this will inspire a trend that seems dormant now.  The entire work is pure brilliance along with the amazing art work cover designed by Jean-Paul Goude, Jones' partner at that time. Here are two song from this brilliant work. Enjoy!