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Worst Led Zeppelin cover of all time? Disco duo Blonde on Blonde cover ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ 1979
01.24.2014
09:49 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Led Zeppelin
Disco
Blonde On Blonde

Blonde on Blonde
 
Comprised of two “Page 3 Girls”—women who’ve achieved the prestigious honor of appearing topless in the British tabloid, The Sun, Blonde on Blonde was the sort of act that made more sense in an environment with a lot of cocaine. I suggest you brace yourself for the actual song—the ladies are a bit more photogenic than they are musical, though the vacant stage presence kind of distracts from their disco hotness.

And if you’re under the impression that I might be slighting two very serious female singers with an unshakable artistic bond, rest assured that I am not. The line-up changed pretty frequently, only consistently maintaining Nina Carter, so apparently the other blondes in Blonde on Blonde were considered interchangeable.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Interstellar Discodrive: Pink Floyd disco covers
11.01.2013
10:26 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Disco


 
I’m a sucker for this type of thing—from the The Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s Rolling Stone’s Songbook to albums of Beatles Moog covers to The Rubber Band’s loopy big band Hendrix tribute—I love this stuff.

It shouldn’t work, but when it does, as with Rosebud’s 1977 discofied Pink Floyd tribute album, Discoball, it’s fucking sublime.

“Interstellar Overdrive”

“Money”

“Main Theme from More”

“Have a Cigar,” which made it to number four on Billboard’s U.S. club chart in 1979.
 
Bonus, Scissor Sisters’ killer cover of “Comfortably Numb”:

 
Thank you to the new dark magus, Miles Clark of Los Angeles, CA!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Sylvester
09.06.2013
05:18 pm

Topics:
Music
Queer

Tags:
Disco
Sylvester

retsevlyslaer
 
Happy Birthday to Sylvester, the “Queen of Disco,” who would have been 66-years-old today.

As m’colleague Niall O’Conghaile has previously written:

If there’s any one artist who represents everything that was revolutionary about disco music, it was Sylvester. It doesn’t matter how many Bee Gees, Ethel Mermans, Rod Stewarts, Boney Ms et al you can throw at the genre as a reason to hate it, the fact is that if it wasn’t for disco there is no way that a linebacker-sized, black, openly gay, outrageous, gender-bending performer like him could have reached the top of the world’s charts.

Sylvester broke every taboo going. In fact he didn’t just break them: he tore them up, threw them on the floor and stamped on them with uproarious glee, all while dragging you out to dance with his irresistable energy. He didn’t have to shout about any of his social or political inclinations because he was already living them, out in the open, for everyone to see.

Sylvester didn’t make “political music” because he didn’t have to: Sylvester’s very existence was inherently political.

Sylvester James jnr. was born in Watts, Los Angeles, on September 6th 1947. He started his singing career with the choir at his local Pentecostal Church. Openly gay from a very early age, Sylvester quit the church allegedly aged 13, after being persecuted by the Jesus-lovers, who it has been said would beat him, punch him and spit on him, for having a consensual relationship with a much older “man of the cloth.” Even so, Sylvester would retain a deep love of the church and Gospel-singing.

By 16, Sylvester was homeless and living by his wits. But his desire to sing eventually led him to start a band of black cross-dressers and trans-women called The Disquotays—this at a time when it was possible to be arrested in LA and charged with “masturbation” for cross-dressing in public. After The Disquotays disbanded in 1970, Sylvester joined the legendary, radical, hippie, drag troupe The Cockettes, performing with them in San Francisco, where he became a major sensation—receiving standing ovations whenever he performed. When The Cockettes toured New York to negative reviews, Sylvester quit the band (famously making his announcement to quit onstage) and began his solo career - performing and recording his first album with backing group The Hot Men, then gigging with three of The Pointer Sisters as his backing.

However, it was his teaming with Two Tons of Fun (later known as The Weather Girls of “It’s Raining Men” fame), that Sylvester became the major star of Disco and Soul. As his biographer Joshua Gamson wrote in The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco:

“Something clicked and sighed into place when Sylvester and the Tons got together – something that wasn’t there with the Hot Band white boys, for all that they could cook; something that wasn’t there with Peter Mintum, for all the beautiful oddness that he and Sylvester shared; something that wasn’t even there with the black drag-queen singers, for all the fierceness they projected. Izora and Martha were whom he came from and who he was… They were women who got their own. They sounded right with Sylvester, and looked just right, one on either side of him. Plus, next to them, Sylvester, who had grown quite round, looked positively svelte.”

In 1977, Sylvester relased his self-titled album, followed by the superb Step II in 1978, from which came his best known single (originally a Gospel tune) “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).”

Happy Birthday Sylvester—supreme singer, performer and “Queen of Disco”!
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Every summer is ‘The Summer Of Disco’: Your essential ‘Nu-Disco’ primer (part two)
06.07.2013
05:52 am

Topics:
Dance
History
Music

Tags:
Disco
primer
disco revival
nu-disco


 
So on to part two, In which we look at more recent nu-disco acts, mostly spanning the last decade or so, and mostly centered around the disco hub known as New York City, with some excursions to London, New Jersey and Oslo.

Thanks for all the feedback on the last post guys, it’s appreciated, and apologies in advance for not being able to fit everything in. If you think there’s something I have missed out on, or if there’s or an act or a dj you think people should know about, leave a comment. Anyway, let’s get to it:

Horse Meat Disco

Disco music does not exist on some abstract plain, of course, it is primarily music for the dance floor, designed to make you move your ass first, feel second, think lastly (if at all). So I couldn’t do a run down of the roots of “nu-disco” without mentioning an actual club that plays both disco and nu-disco music, where you can actually see and hear disco being consumed as it was intended to be, in the here-and-now and not the way-back-when. That club is Horse Meat Disco, a weekly Sunday afternoon/evening/night party hosted in the Eagle, a seedy bar in the heart of South London’s gay Vauxhall district. Through this ongoing weekly residency and a very fine series of compilation albums on Strut, Horse Meat has done more than any other club to rehabilitate disco, and they’ve done it not by stripping it of its “embarrassing” connotations, the kind that quickly turn off the overly-serious house head, but by going all out. For too long “nu-disco” was missing the spark that made disco itself so enticing in the first place: a sense of mischief, sexiness and most importantly FUN. Horse Meat Disco has helped reclaim disco from the boring head nodders and returned it to its primarily audience: gays, women, people of color. If you think disco music is a dead scene, frozen in amber and cocaine, then think again, you haven’t lived till you’ve experienced it with a heaving dancefloor of sweaty homosexuals, its rightful home. Horse Meat Disco is by far the best party in London, and the four man resident dj-team manage to share a lot of that love when they play in other clubs all over the world, or remix/produce their own tracks.

Horse Meat Disco interview for Groove Fest:
 

 
Norway: Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Todd Terje

You’d think it would come as a bit of a surprise that the country responsible for the best nu-disco outside of New York or London would be snowy old Norway, but then house-heads in the late 90s were well aware of the disco talent in that small, northern country, thanks to releases by Those Norwegians, Bjorn Torske, Rune Lindbaek and Telle Records. Royksopp brought the “Norse house” sound to the global stage, but it was a producer by the name of Lindstrom who turned disco upside down, round and round, with the release of “I Feel Space.” A real dancefloor smash whose rising melody lines can still slay to this day, “I Feel Space” feels more genuinely Moroder-esque than anything on Random Access Memories, and is a brilliant demonstration of how to capture that era and feeling without resorting to expensive studios packed full of original 70s gear. Lindstrom’s studio partner Prins Thomas has also been busy carving out a niche for himself as one of the best house djs in the world (he is, if you ever have the chance to see him spin, take it!) and has been releasing some excellent Norwegian nu-disco on his own Full Pupp label. And that’s not to mention their protege Todd Terje, a master of the re-edit who has branched out into his own original productions over the last few years, culminating in the critically lauded Inspector Norse release from last year, and this years brilliant single with Lindstrom, “Lanzarote”:

Lindstrom & Todd Terje “Lanzarote”
 

 
After the jump DFA, Glass Candy, Escort, Chromatics, Arthur’s Landing, Hecules & Love Affair and more…

And also this video, which inspired me to write this whole primer in the first place, in the hope of bringing more attention to acts I like and tracks I love, like this one. THIS is how you revive disco, robots please take note:

Midnight Magic “Beam Me Up”
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Every summer is ‘The Summer Of Disco’: Your essential ‘Nu-Disco’ primer (part one)
06.04.2013
11:33 am

Topics:
Dance
History
Music

Tags:
Disco
primer
disco revival
nu-disco


 
On Friday I posted a two hour film of the closing party at the legendary Paradise Garage, and mentioned a couple of articles that have been doing the rounds lately asking if this is going to be “the summer of disco”.

Well, as I pointed out, every summer is rightly the summer of disco. Talk of a “disco revival” is irrelevant as disco has never really gone away, but that still doesn’t stop it becoming a media trope ever 2 to 3 years, or every time a major artist, underground or pop, releases music with a distinct disco influence (in this case, Daft Punk.) It’s boring and ill-informed, but then, so is a lot of land-fill media. Still, it pisses me off. My grievance is not so much with Daft Punk themselves, but the machinery that surrounds them (figuratively) and also my belief that Random Access Memories isn’t going to spawn a disco revival, primarily as it’s not actually good enough, but also because disco doesn’t need a revival. But then, what would I know?

Actually, quite a lot. From 2002-2008 I ran a radio show/fanzine/website called Discopia that was dedicated to showcasing modern disco, and disco-influenced dance music sounds. I’ve been an alt-disco/nu-disco/disco-house/post-disco/whatever-disco-head since the mid-Nineties, when I first stumbled across Loose Joint’s cornerstone cut “Is It All Over My Face”, as remixed by Larry Levan. That set me off on a path of digging out the weirder and more obscure forms of disco, and also checking out more modern takes on the same sounds and ideals, a path I reckon I share with many producers and fans of this scene out there.

This is where my real grievance lies: the fact is that disco has been on a constant revival for at least the last ten years, it is a vibrant and thriving underground scene, and it has done it all under the radar of oldstream media. In fact, the MSM only become interested when pushed by a significantly large PR machine, and as we all know PR machines have a agendas to push and a habit of warping facts to suit their narratives. 

I’ve seen this revival-meme rear up it’s head at least 3 or 4 times now. It didn’t work before, and it’s not going to work now. Disco is the fundamental bedrock that dance music is based on, its reach is huge and its legacy is deep. Similarly, nu-disco is a massive, sprawling scene, so to try and package it up in an easily consumable “revival” nutshell seems rather pointless. The same would be true for “rock”, “pop” or “dance”. Would anyone take seriously talk of a “reggae revival”? No!

And so, to my “nu-disco” primer. I’m not aiming to do anything definitive here, more point out the various different acts and scenes that have led us to where we are today. To join the dots between the disparate historical pockets of disco love that have sprung up in the last ten-twenty years and to give props to the real originators. To show how diverse and healthy “nu-disco” actually is, and how it’s in no real need of a revival. To point out that Daft Punk aren’t the first to do this, and, in fact, they did all this better years ago. Primarily, though, it’s just an excuse for me to share with you all some really excellent music you might not know.

This is part one of my “Nu-Disco” primer, and will focus mainly on acts from the mid-to-late 90s and the early 00s, essentially the roots of nu-disco, the people who were making disco before it was termed “nu”, and those instrumental in shaping that scene in the early days. Nu-disco heads, I know you’re out there, and I hope I’ve done a good job with this. Your feedback is welcome in the comments.

If there IS going to be a disco revival, THESE are the people who have helped make it happen… [Read on after the jump.]

BONUS!

The record that started it all for me, and I am sure, many others. By pushing the limits of what could be called “disco”, this remix has inspired many producers and DJs to do the same. To this very day, it still sounds fresh and will tear up any sound system it is played on, and being the very zenith of disco production, have shown listeners that it’s a genre worthy of serious respect. It’s a surprise to me how there is absolutely no trace of this track anywhere on Random Access Memories:

Loose Joints “Is It All Over My Face (Larry Levan Female Vocal Mix)”
 

 

After the jump: Black Cock Records, Balihu Records, Nuphonic Records, Idjut Boys, Faze Action, Metro Area, Super Discount, Dimitri From Paris, I-F, Strut Records, Soul Jazz Records, and, yes, even Daft Punk…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Disco will never die! Two hour film of the Paradise Garage closing party, 1987


 
More disco/dance gold dust. It’s Friday after all, so let’s get funky!

A lot of people are wondering if this will be the “Summer Of Disco”, from Vice magazine to the Guardian newspaper

Of course, the obvious answer to this general query is that EVERY summer is the “Summer Of Disco”! As the foundation of practically all forms of modern dance music and its symbiotic “club culture”, disco is just too embedded in the DNA of popular musical consciousness to undergo some kind of cool-by-association, short-term revival. Regardless of the fact that there are countless artists still producing amazing disco-influenced work (even beyond Daft Punk and their sphere), you might as well as if there’s going to be a pop music revival or a reggae revival. The short answer is: there is no need for a revival, as disco never really went away.

The Paradise Garage is testament to this fact, as it kept on repping all that was “disco”, even as the genre changed and mutated through freestyle, electro and house during the early to mid 80s.

The Garage was one of the first ever “super” clubs, and Larry Levan essentially laid down the template for the superstar dj. The sound and visuals in this film may be less than excellent, but there is no doubting its historical importance. The club’s closing party was always going to be fraught with emotion, and if you were there (or even if not) you can now relive it, in all its washed out, VHS glory.

And, at the very least, you are guaranteed NOT to hear “Get Lucky”:

 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Giving Life Back To Music: Obligatory review of Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’


 
I can still remember where I was the first time I heard Daft Punk’s “Da Funk.” It was the summer of 1996 and my brother had taped a 1995-end-of-the-year-round-up show by Annie Nightingale off BBC Radio 1. Well, I say “first” but actually it was the second, as I had previously heard it in a dj mix, but at that point I had no way of knowing what it was. Thankfully Ms Nightingale was forthcoming with information, meaning I could track the tune down myself (in a shop and by word of mouth, remember the days?)

To say that “Da Funk” blew my mind is a bit of an under-statement. As a piece of music it referenced both the genres I was loving the most at the time, house music and hip-hop, but far from being some tawdry “hip-house” jam, “Da Funk” was the perfect summation of the best elements of both genres without compromising either. Everything about the record was perfect, including the feeling of “what the fuck was THAT?!” I got after hearing it. A year later Daft Punk released Homework, and it became the record that, more than any other, defined the late 90s for a whole generation of kids who were sick to death of grunge and Britpop and looking for something new and exciting that wasn’t about the past.

So there you have it. My Daft Punk background. I was there the first time round, and young enough for it to be absolutely MY thing. Does that make me an old fart now? Does that make my opinion on Random Access Memories, Daft Punk’s new album and the most hyped music product ever since the last most hyped music product ever, irrelevant?

Answer in the comments if you like, but to be honest, I don’t really care. Having grown up with Daft Punk, and had them make an immense influence on my own music production and song writing, I feel a personal connection to what they do that makes a review of their new album more than just another Internet commentariat bleating along with the herd (though I can’t stop anyone from shooting it down by calling it that).

So in as brief a nutshell as I can possibly put together, here is my review of Random Access Memories: potentially amazing production let down by really lacklustre songs. Now you know what I think. Feel free to ignore the rest of this piece if you want. For the rest of you, here are my gripes…

Daft Punk “Random Access Memories” full album stream:
 

 
Read the full review after the jump…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
RIP disco legend Vincent Montana Jr, King of Vibes
04.15.2013
05:33 am

Topics:
Dance
Heroes
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Disco
RIP
Vincent Montana Jr


 
We lost one of THE heavy hitters of the disco/soul era on Saturday, a man who helped birth some of the greatest anthems of the 70s and 80s, but whose name will mean very little to the average Joe on the street.

Vincent Montana Jr was vibraphone player and band leader for both Philadelphia International’s MFSB and New York’s Salsoul Orchestra, outfits that, just between them, could rack up a near-definitive “Hits Of Disco” compilation. But that’s not even taking into account the hits he played on or produced for others…

“La La Means I Love You”, “TSOP (aka Theme from Soul Train)”, “Love Train”, “Me & Mrs Jones”, “Disco Inferno”, “Runaway”, “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got”, “Love Is The Message”, “Armed and Extremely Dangerous”, “Backstabbers”, “People Make The World Go Round”, “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun” (with Nuyorican Soul), the list goes on and on.

He also had some success with his own acts Montana Sextet and the Goody Goody Orchestra, including “It Looks Like Love”, which remains one of the keystone records in the vast cannon of disco. Like Loose Joints “Is It All Over My Face” or “For The Love Of Money” by the Disco Dub Band, “It Looks Like Love” has been responsible for turning subsequent generations onto the underground/dancefloor disco sound, and rehabilitating the genre from the sea of plastic crap that almost engulfed it.

In fact, it could be argued that “It Looks Like Love” is THE definitive “disco” record, as its stylish, graceful, sexy vibe is everything disco patrons aspired to be, and the perfect soundtrack to the time machine ride back to those clubs of the late 70s and early 80s. Others may disagree, but this is the track that does it for me. I can close my eyes and I am THERE.

For that, if nothing else (though there was of course LOTS more) we salute you Vincent Montana Jr! Play those vibes, once more time…

Goody Goody “It Looks Like Love”
 

 
For more info on Vince Montana, check out this great article by the British DJ Greg Wilson.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Bollywood Swinging: Hushpuppy’s excellent ‘New Delhi Disco Chicks’ mix tape


 
I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for someone to make a mix of the best Desi Disco tracks from 70s/80s Bollywood movies, and finally it has arrived!

Well, perhaps not my whole life, more like the last 5 or 6 years, or certainly ever since discovering the wonderful work of Bappi Lahiri via MIA’s cover of his classic “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja” in 2007. A few years ago I put together a YouTube playlist of some of my favourite Bollywood disco clip, which you can check out here, though unfortunately a lot of those clips have since been removed.

Not “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja”, though, which has since become a staple of my dj sets, and which I am going to post here now for no other reason than it’s awesome, and to say that if you haven’t seen it, then you need to:

Bappi Lahiri & Parvati Khan “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja”
 

 
As some of the YouTube commenters have pointed out, this track bears more than just a passing resemblance to Ottawan’s “T’es OK” (Bappi Lahiri was well known for his liberal “interpretations” of other people’s music) but I’m willing to overlook that as this version is just so much better.

Bollywood can at times seem pretty impenetrable for Western audiences, but it operates at such a high level of over the top camp that i’s pretty irresistable for lovers of kitsch. I’m still a bit mystified as to why Bollywood isn’t more celebrated within the gay community, but hopefully as the internet gives access to more and more of these films and their soundtracks, the audience will grow.

So praise be to Glasgow dj Hushpuppy then, for putting together an hour of his favourite Bollywood disco/soundtrack moments for all of our ears. Rest assured there’s plenty of Bappi Lahiri on this mix (full tracklisting available here.) This mix is not definitive (which would be impossible, I think) and represents only the very tip of the Bollywood disco-funk iceberg, so I expect to see more djs busting out the Desi Disco in the near future. For now, let’s dig those New Delhi Disco Chicks:
 

New Delhi Disco Chicks - Bollywood Mixtape Vol. 1. by Hushpuppy on Mixcloud

 
There’s plenty more esoteric, exotic excellence on Hushpupppy’s Mixcloud page, including his great Weird Sounds In The Bath House series. Check it out here.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Nancy Nova’s ‘The Force’: a bewitching but obscure New Wave Disco classic


 
I still remember where I was when I first heard this incredible record.

It’s not THAT impressive really, as it was only around three months ago in a friend’s kitchen. It was played as part of a Siouxsie Sioux BBC Radio 6 special, wherein Siouxsie chose an hour of her favorite music from (roughly) the punk era. A lot of her choices were, surprisingly, disco tracks, and when ‘The Force’ came on all casual conversation in the kitchen stopped ,and we all simply HAD to know who sang this incredible song.

Nancy Nova is, apparently, the daughter of British TV personality and Blockbusters game show host, Bob Holness. Her real name is Carol Ann, and her sister Ros was a member of the uber-camp 80s girl group Toto Coelo (who are best known for “I Eat Cannibals”.)

“The Force” is simply epic, a gothic disco-pop song that oozes menacing, spooky appeal, the kind Alison Goldfrapp would kill for. It really does sound like it comes form another bizarro planet. Like the best horror movies, it’s scary, thrilling and exciting all at the same time. Bass heavy disco production, reminiscent of Kid Creole’s best, Broadway-inspired work, is topped off by celestial choirs that could lure passing astronauts to their rocky doom, while a spare arrangement, that hints at the then-burgeoning goth movement, makes the most of Nova’s stunning voice.

Ah yes, THAT voice. Nancy Nova is one of those singers with a startling, unique vocal style that should be irritating but actually works. At times reminiscent of Betty Boop, at others quite similar to Noosha Fox of the band Fox (previously covered on Dangerous Minds here) it really is one of a kind, and guaranteed to beguile the listener.

So impressed were we by Nancy Nova and ‘The Force’ that we based Tranarchy‘s Hallowe’en ‘Zombie Pride’ video around it, in effect creating a pop video for a song that didin’t have one, but needed it. A surrealistic tale of drag initiation (featuring stunning make-up work by star witch Grace Oni Smith) I’d like to think that we have done the song proud, and that if Nancy Nova were to see it, she would approve: 

Nancy Nova ‘The Force’ (Tranarchy Zombie Pride V)
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
English Disco Lovers - bumping the English Defence League off of Google


 
Big up to whoever it is who has started the English Disco Lovers social group.

A retort to the extreme right wingers, the nasty English Defence League (who I am not going to provide a link to here) the EDL—Disco Division—have been recruiting members on their Facebook page, as one race and one world united under the banner of beautiful disco music. Here’s a brief blurb:

The English Disco Lovers (EDL) are a pro-disco, anti-racism group.

We aim to spoof the slogans and emblems of The English Defence League, showing them for what they really are - racist, outdated and not the type you’d invite to your disco!

Unus Mundas, Una Gens, Unus Disco (One World, One Race, One Disco)!

Recently, the EDL—Disco Division—have passed round a new manifesto, which states their aim to supplant the English Defence League as the top search result for “EDL” on Google, and to get more likes than the English Defence League on Facebook.

Here’s the manifesto, or the disco statement as it has been labeled by the group, in full. It’s well worth a read:
 

 
This is a noble and worthy cause and I tip my hat to the English Disco Lovers.

We may all be losing heart over the wonder of Facebook these days, but if you want to see the Disco Lovers achieve their goal of more FB likes than the English Defence League (they are about half way there already) you can like the group on their page. You can also find them on Twitter.

And in the meantime, here’s some classic disco with a message of social unity:
 
The O’Jays “Love Train” (1972)
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Disco majesty: download ‘After Dark Vol 1’ by Italians Do It Better for free
10.12.2012
07:13 am

Topics:
Dance
Music

Tags:
Disco
Synth
Italians Do It Better


 
The cult Italo/synth disco label Italians Do It Better have just re-released a remastered version of their classic 2007 compilation After Dark, featuring music by Chromatics, Glass Candy, Farah, Mirage and Professor Genius, for free through Soundcloud.

Label boss Johnny Jewel explains why IDIB decided to give the remastered re-release away for free:

Over 5 years ago we released a slow-burning label sampler at midnight on my birthday. The original pressing was a demo CDR that Ida No colored with markers & glued cutouts of my hand spraypainting our names on the world. It was supposed to be a limited edition of 237 copies meant for the merch tables of Texas & California. It exploded overnight. 77 minutes of analog electronic music mutating through Italo Disco, Krautrock, Electro, Giallo Cinema, & Pop. By now, After Dark seems like it’s in its thousandth pressing…(we lost track a long time ago). And as we prepare for the release of After Dark 2, we wanted to share with you where it all began.

The last 5 years seem like a beautiful blurry dream. Since the October 15th release date was announced back in July, everyone has grown increasingly anxious for the hard copy. At that time, we didn’t know Karl Lagerfeld was going to commission Chromatics to choreograph 27 minutes of music for the Chanel runway. We also couldn’t have known that Symmetry was going to be asked to score a top-secret motion picture for 2013. There is so much music we can’t wait for you to hear. For the diehard fans, we’re going to start leaking tracks next week.

After slowly chiseling away at it since the spring of 2008, After Dark 2 is finally right around the corner. Thanks to everyone for being so enthusiastic & patient. I promise it’s worth the wait. In the meantime, download the fully remastered version of the first After Dark here. I blended it together at 5 am this morning. Enjoy!

I really can’t recommend this compilation highly enough, it’s a treat for all those who love dance music of the past and the present, even those who prefer their “dance music” to be enjoyed in a distinctly horizontal position, perhaps with some herbal refreshments. And if you’re a fan of Ariel Pink and John Maus’ lo-fi, retro sounds, there is much here to savor:
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:

‘Kill For Love’: Chromatics glacial take on synth disco (and Neil Young)

Haunted Retro part 2: Nite Jewel, Desire & Italians Do It Better

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
I Am The Cosmos: EXCLUSIVE premiere of their album track ‘Lost Rhythm’

I_Am_The_Cosmos_by_Dorje_de_Burgh
 
Ireland has produced some of the best music recently. There is the King of Disco and Performer Extraordinaire, The Niallist (DM’s very own Niall O’Conghaile); the beautiful and brilliant Solar Bears; and now a wonderful duo called I Am The Cosmos.

Since their launch over a year ago, I Am The Cosmos duo Ross Turner and Cian Murphy have been producing their very own distinctive brand of fabulous, soulful, electronic music. They have performed a series of live shows, which brought them considerable interest from BBC radio’s Across The Line music show, and enthusiastic reviews from the music blogs No Fear of Pop, 20JazzFunkGreats and Nialler9.

Recently, Ross and Cian have been putting the finishing touches to their highly anticipated debut album, from which Dangerous Minds are proud to present an Exclusive Premier of the track “Lost Rhythm” by I Am The Cosmos. 

Going by this and their previous single “Yves Klein Blue” Ross and Cian are definitely on to a winner.

I Am The Cosmos photograph by Dorje de Burgh.

Follow I Am The Cosmos on twitter, on Facebook and Soundcloud.
 


I Am The Cosmos - “Lost Rhythm”
 
Bonus tracks plus video clip of I Am The Cosmos, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Disco from the streets: the entire catalog of P&P records on 15 CDs
06.25.2012
08:35 am

Topics:
Dance
History
Music

Tags:
Disco
compilation
Box Set
P&P


 
Of all the disco labels active during the genre’s golden age, very few match Harlem’s P&P records for cult status and obscure collectability (you see, I’m not immune to wanting great music!)

Founded by NYC in the late 70s by Peter Brown and Patrick Adams (hence the name P&P), the label was responsible for some of the era’s biggest dancefloor hits, songs that still get played out today, and have formed the backbone of many a modern track, even thirty years later.

P&P had a distinctive sound that is almost instantly recognisable. Very heavy on the drums and percussion, their productions were a direct progression from the raw funk of the early 70s. This was music that came from the street rather than the nightclub, and while it was rougher and tougher and a lot less slick than the bigger labels like Salsoul or Prelude, in terms of pure dancefloor funkability it matched them step for step.

P&P worked with many different artists, under many different aliases and with a dizzying array of off shoot labels, but the core songwriting (and playing) was always down to Adams & Brown, who would often knock out the work of entire band on their own, overnight, in the studio. To this day, Patrick Adams is one of the most respected back-room technicians (and commercial songwriters) working in the biz.
 

 
There have been a few different compilations of the P&P catalog before (most notably the Disco Juice compilations on Counterpoint Records, and an introduction to the label compiled the respected NYC DJ Danny Krivit) but this one is different. It is basically the ENTIRE output of P&P and associated labels, and stretches to an incredible 15 CDs. And, most surprising of all, at roughly $40/£20, it’s nowhere close to busting your wallet! That’s a hell of a lot of bang for your buck.

The set comes in MP3 download format, a 15 CD box set, and a deluxe box set that is a bit more pricey but includes bonus materials like liner notes, original promotional material, and two special 12"s for use with Serato or on normal turntables. UK readers can find the box set at decent dance music retailers like Phonica, while Stateside it seems like the MP3 and deluxe versions may not be out, but you can still get the CD collection via Amazon. It’s probably worth rooting around your preferred independent retailers for this, too.

I can’t recommend this set highly enough, especially for our readers who STILL linger under the misapprehension that disco was a commercial fad that sprung fully formed, shiny and covered in glitter, from the belly of the corporate beast. This is REAL disco, with its roots in the streets, the block parties and the underground clubs and bars. Here is one of my all time favourite disco tracks, ‘Out Of Work” by Jesse Gould, a socially aware disco record whose sentiment still rings very true 35 years later.
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After the jump there’s more great music from this incredible label, all of which is available on ‘Hits Hits Hits’...

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Tonight, A DJ Will Save Your Life: An interview with Performer Extraordinaire The Niallist

The_Niallist
 
‘...I’m from an old school that believed that music and musicians could change things - maybe not radically and maybe not quickly, but that the seeds for change could definitely be sown with songs and videos and shows and interviews.’

Niall O’Conghaile aka The Niallist is talking about the music that inspired him to become a musician, a producer, a DJ, a one-man-disco-industry, and a Performer Extraordinaire.

Niall makes music that moves you “physically, mentally and emotionally. Dance music, for want of a better term!” But it’s always been about more than that.

Let’s turn to the history book…

When Brian Eno was working with David Bowie in Germany, he heard Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” in a record shop. Eno bought the single and ran, holding it aloft, back to Bowie in the studio, where he announced, like a pop John-the-Baptist, ‘I have heard the future.’

Niall is part of that future and his musical output is quite phenomenal and brilliant.

But it’s not just music that Niall has made his own, you’ll know him as a star blogger on Dangerous Minds, and perhaps through his work on the blogs Shallow Rave, Weaponizer, Menergy and his site, Niallism.

Niall also DJs / organizes club nights with Menergy and Tranarchy, and is the keyboard player with Joyce D’Ivision. All of which, for my money, makes The Niallist one of the most exciting, talented and outrageous DJ/producers currently working in the UK. Not bad for a boy who started out spinning discs on one turntable at school.

Now, it’s strange how you can spend much of your working day with someone and yet never really know that much about them. Wanting to know more about the extraordinary Niallist, I decided to interview him for (who else?) Dangerous Minds, and this is what he said.
 
DM: Tell me about how you started in music? Was this something to moved towards in childhood?

The Niallist: ‘Yeah, music is something I remember affecting me deeply as a kid. My sister, who is older than me, was a huge Prince fan and naturally that teenage, female, pop-music enthusiasm rubbed off on me. I would read all her old copies of Smash Hits and create my own scrap books from the magazines, even though the bands were, by then, either non-existent or pretty naff.

‘My brother was into more serious, “boy” music, which I didn’t like as a child, but which I really appreciated when I hit puberty. He had a big box of tapes that was crucial to me, even though he didn’t like me borrow them, but he had pretty much all Led Zep’s albums in there, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Bowie, The Stone Roses, and I particularly remember him getting a copy of Nevermind when it had just come out, which was a key discovery. That box smelt of Dettol and musty cassettes, and to this day the smell of Dettol still takes me back!’

What were your early tastes in music? What were those key moments when a song a record made you realise this was what you wanted to do?

The Niallist: ‘Well, Nevermind was definitely one. I think that record started a lot of people on a musical journey. But also, I really identified with Kurt Cobain, as he was an outsider in the pop music landscape who spoke up for gay and women’s rights, which really struck a chord with me. He was a man, but he also wasn’t scared of being seen as feminine. He was a pop star, he looked scruffy and spoke with intelligence and passion. He was different. As someone else who was different, and a natural outsider, I guess I saw music as maybe a place where I could fit in and still fully express myself.

‘Call me hopelessly naive if you will, but I’m from an old school that believed that music and musicians could change things - maybe not radically and maybe not quickly, but that the seeds for change could definitely be sown with songs and videos and shows and interviews. Looking back on the early 90s now, it seems like an incredibly politically-charged time for music and pop culture. Public Enemy, NWA, Ice Cube, Huggy Bear, Bikini Kill, The Prodigy with “Fuck ‘Em And Their Law”, Pearl Jam telling Ticketmaster to fuck off, Spiral Tribe, massive illegal raves, Back To The Planet, Senser, Rage Against The Machine, the fact that RuPaul was a pop star, even Madonna’s Sex book and Erotica album for God’s sake! If you weren’t politically active or at least aware back then, you were terribly uncool. That spirit seems to have disappeared from music altogether now, which is sad.’
 

 

 
More from Niall, including his Top 5 picks, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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