Epic post! Epic because Love is Disco, and Disco is the one genre that has united all 4 horsemen of 20JFG in agreement that 2008 was an awesome year for said musical style. Disco hit hard this year with Chicago House making a welcome return to the forefront of dance music and the act of editing old classics becoming the done thing with an army of bedroom/basement club producers.
Eskimo continued the discopic onslaught across the sand dunes of parallel universes with Peter Visti’s balearic vibes casting swirling green shadows through abandoned towns and Low Motion Disco’s music soundtracking the creation of new species in the murky depths. The label also brought us the phenomenon of Aeroplane who remixed a host of artists to great success, even getting to work the magic on Grace Jones. But it was with Kathy Diamond on the “Whispers” 12″ that they managed to channel the finesse of “I Feel Love” with the spirit of malevolent ’80s soul from Shakatak and Thelma Houston.
Maelstrom – Valdresfjellet
Skinny Joey compiled the sounds of space on the “Cosmic Balearic Beats” collection which featured Maelstrom. “Valdresfjellet” is taken from the “Assynt” 12″, with beats that map out the complex placement of pistons and cogs on a robot holding a cowbell.
In Flagranti’s Codek label continued its output of wonky synth-wiggle electro(not electro) under various disguises on the excellent “Sounds Superb” series, plus neurotic psy-funk spearheading to the vanishing point on a speedball on the “Firmly Planted Memories” 12″. Oblio bought to life the images depicted on ’70s edition Philip K. Dick novels, slow motion laser beam volleys across the irradiated royal blue of alien vistas, as heard on “The Crux Of The Matter” 12″. In Flagranti themselves made discos slippery when wet with the dirty-mac-perv flasher chic of the “Sexx Piss Tool” 12″, complete with shimmying ’70s porn starlet beats heard pumping out of decadent Parisian penthouse parties, and the torrid moans of sexaroid vocoders in silk-sheet trysts:
In Flagranti – I Chatted Up The Nympho Secretary Part 1
The edits came thick and fast, so it was difficult to sift through them to pick out the nuggets of gold from the grains of sand. Glossy didn’t disappoint in three separate vinyl discs, polishing unknown tracks into streamlined sensations with Vaseline on the lens and cocktail cigarette smoke hanging in the air, casting a fuzzy haze across perfect cheekbones – the aural equivalent of ’80s Vogue Magazine photoshoots.
Glossy – Burning Love
The Ambassador’s Reception took things to a psychotropic level with Tako’s “My Kind of Woman” 12″ filled with sci-fi fear and drama, empty galaxies of unseen evil forces and synthesised bleeps creating constellation in the cosmos that marked the entrance to cross-dimensional robo-raves in the year 3000. Loud E delivered a 12″ tri-force of hypnotic downbeat disco. Hear how “Drums Dutour II” off of the most recent disc spins a cheap grindhouse movie plot of mechanical zombies chasing a female TV reporter and her unlikely partner of a strapping offshore fisherman through the misty woods of a deserted island off the coast of Italy:
Loud E – Drums Dutour II
Messalina’s awesomeness should not be gauged by the number of Myspace friends they have (five), but by the sound of this throbbingly propulsive edit of “Westway” by prog-rock outfit Sky. If The Warriors had just kicked back and chased the dragon instead of making their perilous way across an increasingly hostile New York, the Baseball Furies would have materialised from slow motion energy columns before their cloudy eyes and beaten them to a glittery pulp with giant quaaludes, and Barry de Vorzon would have beaten Lucci Capri to this beat:
Lucci Capri – Sky Way
Other credible edits gracing pristine turntables came from Moxie who’s reworkings soundtracked gay porn remakes of Buck Rogers and Knight Rider, and drug fuelled dream orgies that inexplicably ran parallel to the plot of V with horses in need of chiropractors taking the place of the alien lizards. The dukes of noirdisco, Lovefingers, began a project entitled Black Disco with cohorts Nitedog and Lee Douglas where disco classics received a Halloween makeover to invoke demons in mirrorball capes and leotards. The RVNG of the NRDS series enlisted Wade Nichols and Jacques Renault to commit the four elements of disco to humble circular wax, Renault preciously reflecting off the floor of Studio 54, Nichols cow herding with a Cadillac. Stalwarts of class Permanent Vacation kept showering us with silver raindrops of total goodness, the delicious Space Oddities rare Euro-grooves & library music comp put together by Jess and Alexis Le-Tan and Goblin City’s remix by Holy Ghost! were but two highlights.
Discos Capablanca was born in 2008: astrological omens and dream messages of dancefloor sweat and world domination through honest fierce & love acted upon by enlightened Berlin top mystic and bonafide gentleman Hugo, the beginning of something special. We hear that Capablanca reference no. 2 is in the oven right now. 2009 is going to be hot.
Stickydisc became firm favourites by way of the release of Watussi’s “Purple Moon” (a crunchier Emperor Machine with drunken Moon rant chorus) and Babytalk’s “Chance” (a skeletally deep night ride to the planetarium where dark secrets become gravely apparent).
Prins Thomas released Windsurf’s debut LP “Coastlines” on Internasjonal and the all conquering majestic power of Lindstrøm was bestowed upon the world in a fittingly epic gesture that was the “Where You Go I Go Too” LP. While we all got lost amongst the pyramids with Hans-Peter, Black Devil Disco Club was fiendishly completing his trilogy of black chrome evil with the “Eight Oh Eight” 12″ (remixes to follow soon, including a Hercules & Love Affair version). Padded Cell crept like a twitching corpse from the murder basement of DC Recordings with “Night Must Fall” a tale of undead dancing deep underneath the dark streets of London and pyro-pagan rituals deep in the caves of Summerisle.
(image from The Tommyboy)
The neo-gothic synth nymphs of Fan Death stole away hearts on the blood splattered dancefloors, and Diamond Vampires weaved asymetric glass spiderwebs to ensnare high society witch covens and downtown succubus hookers. The spirit of 1984 possessed Zombi’s vintage synths and a gleaming creature strutted through the clusters of neon palm trees and faceless skyscrapers, a creature known as Lovelock. Lovelock joined the headspace of the Valerie crew who released cuts from College, Minitel Rose and Anoraak all digitised actors recast in cheap SFX and shock-horror musical remakes of The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink and Heathers.
The horror was yet further extended with Quiet Village’s LP “Silent Movie”, one of the albums of the year. The hammer-horror style crimson lighting of “Circus of Horrors” soon faded to the pastel shades of azure on “Pillow Talk” and “Utopia”. While not strictly disco, we are sure we can hear snippets of heavily edited alt. dancefloor tracks that make up the macabre mosaic of background music to ’70s wildlife documentaries and Cerrone at 33rpm that the album is. Phantom Slasher utilised the same cut n’ paste with effects to create the tumbling and confusing beats of “Keys to the Tripod”.
Every disco-dancer and their hot still with-it mom was more than aware that Italians Do It Better existed this year, with the gleaming neon palace of Glass Candy erected in the centre of the Earth where Ida No and Johnny Jewel sat upon their flashing pink and blue thrones, and Chromatics hung out in leather and tarnished sequins in a suitably darkened corner of the royal courtyard. Tiedye began the disco, but it was up to Professor Genius to come on at 1am and slay the floor with hypno-medieval italo-kraut from the “A Jean Giraud Part One” 12″ released on Thisisnotanexit and the hyper kinetic terror-NRG found on the “Down There” EP.
Professor Genius – Cat’s Eye
But all went silent for the triumphant return of the Queen of the Decadently Damned, Miss Grace Jones. “Hurricane” was like being beamed back to the classic first albums, with a giant 50ft Grace stalking across a Jamaican landscape like a skinny limbed spectral warrior woman. As we mentioned before Aeroplane remixed the first single with fizzy synths reaching boiling point alongside undulating arpeggios casting a fearful cloud over the forced happiness of the original. Its off to the acidic cyber-jungle for the Cosmic Jam remix from the unofficial 12″.
Grace Jones – William’s Blood (Cosmic Jam Remix)
No self-respecting disco best of should be without its share of DFA, and here is ours. Black Meteoric Star, the dark house alter ego of Gavin Russom, rumbled over the airwaves of Beats In Space every so often this year to the great joy and wonder of listeners. If you were lucky enough to catch his remix of Britney Spears’ “Piece Of Me” then you were probably equally spellbound by its apocalyptic death-pop drone and black-hole heart. But his time will be in ’09.
Hercules & Love Affair were held aloft as the disco kings and queens this year. “Classique #3” sadly never saw a release, but the jacking stutter of midnight classic “You Belong”, the diamonds floating on the water glimmer of “Athene” and the Yazoo remixed by Sylvester funk of “Raise Me Up” more than made up for it. If you had the chance to witness them live you would have been lost in the neon corridors of the psychedelic house reworkings that each track received.
Hercules & Love Affair – I’m Telling You (Live)
This recording comes from the band’s set at Koko in London – the whole thing can be found here.
(photo above by Nicolaggio)
And let us finish this mucho bueno post, and this year of decadence, dance, crisis and hopeful beginning of change with an exclusive from New Jersey robodisco crack squad Pink Stallone. They have seduced us most effortlessly with the robotic strutting of their sparse n’ sexy compositions during 2008, it’s only right they send it off. Winner.
So- just play ‘New Fate’ before midnight and welcome the New Year with top class styles, what styles, well, these fucking styles:
The styles equivalent of Indeep vogueing against (Grandmaster Flash’s) Scorpio in the midst of a whirling cloud of smoke filling the magenta spaces of a diamond-shaped dancefloor surrounded by Debbie Harry mannequins .
This song is poison lipstick the colour of chrome smeared of the walls of a vicious trap. Bless Pink Stallone, kick off 2009 in a most wicked way. We heart U.
Pink Stallone- New Fate