Monday, March 09, 2009

The Disco era that lives on!

The word disco music brings all sorts of different images to our minds. For some it is simply a nightclub or a huge hall, for many more it is the music movement that became fashionable in the late 70's and which ended up dominating pop music for a time in conjunction with movies such as "Saturday Night Fever" and it's massive selling soundtrack. Disco became a dirty word in the early 80's and suffered a backlash that still taints some of it's coverage today, but for more people again it's spirit stayed alive through the creation of a new type of music which took the disco groove; house music, which is more popular than ever these days.
Disco also evokes the cliched images of retro 70's nights and platform shoes with open top shirts and thoughts of the days where everyone from mod singer Rod Stewart to jazz legend Idris Muhammad got on the disco train and made music for the dance-floors. Disco saw the rise of the 12 inch single and a DJ Culture which is also bigger than ever today, but it remains one of the most misunderstood music genres and often one in which commentators can be totally ignorant! For me, it is a special music genre for many reasons, not least because of the fact that it's rise went hand in hand with the birth of hip-hop, which sprung out of many of the same communities and which first reached the mainstream through re-workings of the disco anthems of the day being replayed by live musicians added to rappers on the top.
I was lucky enough to always appreciate that a million miles away from "Y.M.C.A" and the wedding anthems that everyone knows, there was an underground music culture that developed out of this era that still carries an amazing relevance today. Just take a look at the best modern music producers and dj's; Danny Krivit, Theo Parrish, Moodyman and many more are all children of the disco era and slaves to the grooves which dominated nearly every big club track of that era.
Disco is far from dead. Despite record company and media fuelled revivals instigated by music from the likes of Cassius, Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk in the 90's, the disco era was always held in great esteem by the true aficionados of dance music, and DJ's, producers and record collectors have for a long time kept the spirit of the music alive. Even in the pop charts we can see this clearly. Madonna came out of the disco era, Lady Gaga and most hit-makers these days are in thrall of the 70's and 80's while Timbaland and a thousand other producers keep nodding towards it's later electro stylings.
As a DJ it is without doubt one of my favourite types of music to spin at parties or in clubs. Back in the day myself and Angi used spin at a night called Mor Disco in Zoes and every Tuesday night became an incredible party where loads of different people dressed up and got down to the funkiest of tunes! By the time we packed it in the music was becoming really ubiquitous again through the efforts of many of the aforementioned acts but in the intervening years i've always enjoyed dusting off the 12 inch disco gems for special occasions. Last Saturday on Black on Red on RedFM I spun a disco mix with some of my personal favourite selections. Some will be familiar, many more obscure and one or two will be edits of old tunes. The re-edit culture surrounding many disco records is quite interesting actually and when done tastefully it can be really good, fortunately there are many DJ's and producers out there with respect for the genre which brought us some of the greatest music of all time!
Here is the link for the Mix

Disco Special Volume 3

I Wish You Would [edit] Jocelyn Brown
The Sound Of Music Dayton
Mr. Groove One Way
Don't Stop K.I.D.
Spaghettidisco (Extended) Cave Bear Cult
High Skyy
Sweet To Me Logg
Keep On Movin' Deodato
Feel Up Grace Jones
Seventh Heaven Gwen Guthrie
Loving You Donald Byrd
Don't Give Up [12" Version] Linda Clifford
This Beat Is Mine Vicky D
Don't Cost You Nothin' Ashford & Simpson
Hit And Run [7"Mix] Loleatta Holloway
Runaway Salsoul Orchestra
Once I've Been There Norman Connors
Mainline Black Ivory
I'm Every Woman Chaka Khan
I'm In Love (Original 12_ Mix) Evelyn King
Touch Me (All Night Long) Wish Feat. Fonda Rae
Falling In Love (DK Edit Of Shep Pettibone Remix) Surface
Jump to It (Original 12" Mix) Aretha Franklin
Sure Shot (Larry Levan Mix) Tracy Weber
Here Comes That Sound (Social Disco Club Re-Edit) Love De-Luxe
There Was a Time ESG
I Need You (Unreleased Mix) Sylvester
Bad Luck Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
We're Getting Stronger Loleatta Holloway
Armed And Extremely Dangerous First Choice


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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays also you can catch me at