Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Party Music Can You Feel It?  

Easily the most satisfying moment in my years as a music promoter came in the fall of 2006 when I had the opportunity to bring legendary band ESG to perform in San Francisco for the very first time. It is still unbelievable to me that it took this extremely influential band almost 30 years to make it out to SF. It was quite inspiring to see three ladies well into their 50's deliver a completely stellar performance.

One of the things that amazes me about this band is that they never tinkered with their sound. They survived through so many different trends and musical shifts over the years and never pulled away from the punk/funk/disco sound that they so well helped to define. Just listen to the bands recent release "Keep on Moving" on the fantastic UK label Soul Jazz Records. You cannot tell if those tracks were produced in the year 1980 or 2006.

Released on the Popular Records imprint in 1988, the 12 inch single "Party Music" seemingly came out of nowhere during a fairly inactive period for the band. "Party Music" is my favorite ESG track and showcased a band throwing down super hard 10 years into their career and deep in the mist of strange and different musical climates. This cut is a disco tour de force years after the genres decline. This is my kind of party!

mp3: E.S.G. - Party Music (Party Mix)

Posted by Magnum | 5 comments


Monday, February 25, 2008

Lamont Dozier  

Lamont Dozier is likely best known as 1/3 of the songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland. "Goin' Back To My Roots" is among his finest solo records. Originally released on the "Peddlin' Music On The Side" (Warner, 1977) album, the track was also released by Warner that same year as a promo 12". Elektra also released the track with audiophile remastering and backed with David Williams "Come On Down Boogie People" as part of their Dance Classics series, while not as rare as the Warner 12", it is still a pricey little gem.

mp3: Lamont Dozier - Goin' Back To My Roots

Posted by T. Preston | 5 comments

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Even In The Year 3000  

Slick was a spin off project of the funk outfit Fat Larry's band, consisting of elements of the the rhythm section from said group and managed by 'Fat' Larry James himself as well as also being signed to Fantasy records. Slick was an opportunity for the Philadelphia collective to experiment with a purer instrumental disco sound, carrying the same jazz tinged edge that the Fat Larry Band were instrumental in bringing to seventies funk.

Space Bass is a known classic and is nothing if not appropriately named. This was major underground hit on the UK club scene '79, laden with trippy hooks and the sparse, authoritative production that keep disco tracks popular on the contemporary dance floor even with the uninformed. It has pop cred to spare. I'm pleased with how this recording came out, the vinyl was virgin with a 1983 release with a Patrick Cowley mix of Two Tons Of Fun on the other side, although you can find it on bootleg and it frequently turns up on famous name DJ's comps and cd mixes.

mp3: Slick - Space Bass

Posted by Black Shag | 2 comments


Friday, February 22, 2008

You Want Some Lazer Soul To Go With That Shake?  

This is a quick lazer soul mix for you to listen to while you jump start you weekend. It is only a half an hour long, so you can listen to it while you are picking out which cowboy hat you want to wear tonight. The Colonel is more proto house than lazer soul, but it is one of my all time favorite tracks and fits with all the machismo in this mix.

1. Simplicious - Let Her Feel It
2. "D" Train - You're The One For Me (Instrumental)
3. The Gap Band - Early In The Morning (long Version)
4. Dazz Band - Let It All Blow (Long Version)
5. Colonel Abrams - How Soon We Forget (Extended Version)
6. Lakeside - Make My Day

mp3: Lazer Soul Mix

Posted by Joel Brüt | 1 comments

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Xtra Special Boogie  

Atmosfear were a British collective that had widespread success in 1979 with their first single "Dancing in Outer Space" The track was a sort of jazzy disco fusion number which has been heavily sampled over the years. The 8 piece band was fronted by mastermind Guitarist/Producer Andy Sojka. By the early 80's they had switched gears towards a more boogie oriented sound and released the 12 inch single "Xtra Special" (featuring guest vocalist Beverly Skeete) on their own Elite label. As is the case with so many of these artists, the band hit their high water mark with this release in 1982 (the peak year for modern soul music) and the results interest me way more than their earlier jazz leaning noodlings. Atmosfear continued on with varying levels of success until Sojka's untimely death in 2000.

mp3: Atmosfear - "Xtra Special"

Posted by Magnum | 4 comments

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So Good, So Right  

Imagination, a pop disco group from the UK came on the scene with their mind blowing outfits (Romo-erotic stease) in 1981. The concept that Leee John and multi instrumentalist Ashley Ingrams came up with was to create a "slinky, sexy and erotic" group; they succeeded! This group is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Their arrangements are so smooth an solid and the vocals are so well layered. The first track sounds like a primitive version of trance music. The second track it my favorite by the group. It rides a smooth wave that locks the listener into a groove. Then the hand claps come and then, without warning, Leee John's trademark falsetto comes on and take us all to a happier place. I once played this in a club as a sound check (and to raise the eyebrows of the other Beat Electric hosts) and got into a 15 minute conversation with a French dude (the only person in the bar) who had seen them live four times. Good Times.

Imagination - State of Love (Extended Dance Remix)

Imagination - So Good, So Right

Posted by Joel Brüt | 4 comments


Monday, February 18, 2008

Eye To Eye Contact  

These funky Nothern Soul tracks are full of interesting organic sounds that show a lot elements prevalent in American soul from the late 60's mish-mashing with funk and classic disco. Contact features Edwin Starr's unique vocal delivery that kind of reminds me of rockabilly singers from two decades earlier. Edwin Starr is most well known for his Motown hit War. The flipside features a slammin' disco track that would probably be better as a dub version, but the vocals are very unique.

Edwin Starr - Contact
Edwin Starr - Working Song

Posted by Joel Brüt | 3 comments

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Souvenirs from 1979  

This mix is a collection of songs that might have been played on this Bozak mixer when it was installed by Richard Long Associates (RLA) in the legendary NYC club Inferno. This club was in Midtown and was the stomping grounds of house music legends David Morales and Roman Ricardo. I really hope some of their talent rubs off! Bozak mixers are unique because the circuit is discrete which allows way more headroom than mixers with IC chips. Also, the nature of the design puts the tape outs before the tone control, so the signal that is recorded is flat.

Clifton Dyson - Body In Motion
Front Page - Love Insurance (Sharon Redd and Eric Matthew)
Voyage - Souvenirs (Translucent Red Vinyl)
Bombers - (Everybody) Get Dancin'
Evelyn "Champagne" King - Shame
El Coco - Medley: Afrodesia / Coco Kane
Erotic Drum Band - Pop Pop Shoo Wah (Long Version)
Stephanie Mills - You Can Get Over

mp3: Souvenirs from 1979

Posted by Joel Brüt | 3 comments

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Video Queen  

Chocolate Milk is kind of a wimpy name for these tough looking dudes. This track is part of our ongoing collection of tunes that reference video game culture. The track, from 1981 is pretty interesting because has a very modern lazer soul sound mixed with rock guitar and vocals that are similar to hip hop records from the time with a little Rick James for spice. There are a lot of fun spacey sounds that reflect the video games of the era.

mp3: Chocolate Milk - Video Queen

Posted by Joel Brüt | 1 comments

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Theo Parrish vs. GQ Two  

We all know and love GQ for the seminal classic "Disco Nights". The band originally hailed from the Bronx and formed in 1968 as "Sabu and the Soul Survivors". As their sound evolved so did the bands suave image. Eventually they changed their name to GQ just in time to release the "Disco Nights" single which was a huge hit in 1979. The band survived to make a few more minor hits until they disbanded in the early 80's. Their second proper LP was released in 1980 and simply entitled "Two". GQ Two was by no means a masterpiece, but it certainly had some fine moments.

As part of the Ugly Edits bootleg series, Detroit producer Theo Parrish dusted off several tracks from the album and re-invented them with a whole new feel. Parrish's edits showcase Lead singer Emanuel Rahiem Leblanc's incredible emotive vocal quality as it melds nicely with bassist Keith "Sabu" Crier's mesmerizing basslines. Parrish deletes the choruses out of "Lies" altogether and turns the cut into a powerful, linear dancefloor banger. On "Is It Cool" he accentuates the powerful horn breakdowns and extends the track to a full ten plus minute groove. With his ugly edits, Theo Parrish took the two songs that no one talked about on the album and transformed them into total classics.

GQ- Lies (Theo Parrish Edit)

GQ- Is It Cool (Theo Parrish Edit)

Posted by Magnum | 5 comments

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Heaviest Afro Disco Track On The Planet  

Kabbala was a London based Afro Beat outfit headed by Michael Osapanin, they have a celebrated and much licensed track named Ashewo Ara that as appeared on many Afro Disco compilations and re releases over the years since it's release in the early eighties. Its a nice tune but the real dance floor smasher, and I feel the pinnacle of the Afro Disco sub genre, is the B side to their 1983 12" Yen Nbo Ose, a track named Yo Yo Dance.

Taken from the back of the record:

"Kabbala was formed four years ago by two Ghanain brothers, Michael and Isaac Osapanin. Kabbala's music has a unique flavour, blending music derived from African ceremonial and the occult with western jazz and modern dance music. This synthesis of traditional African drums and percussion, modern instruments from the West with the varied influences and experiences of the musicians gives Kabbala its unique sound."

Kabbala - Yo Yo Dance

Posted by Black Shag | 3 comments

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Change The End  

Change was a remarkable band that cranked out a vast array of interesting and diverse music. From the CBS top 100 italo banger The End, the boogie masterpiece Paradise, to the smooth as can be Your Move, Change showed that you don't have to be a one trick pony. Change was the brainchild of Italian businessman Jacques Fred Petrus and Mario Malavasi. The first and second LP broke the late smooth soul legend Luther Vandross whom can be heard on the track Searching. Your Move features another dude that sounds almost exactly like Luther. They brought the heat from 1980 till 1985 and played Studio 54's closing party in 1986.

mp3: Change - Paradise
mp3: Change - The End
mp3: Change - Your Move
mp3: Change - Searching

Posted by Joel Brüt | 3 comments

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