In this post we celebrate the many savants of rhythm who look into the prism of the past, and see the future. In a year emulating the grotty and overcast economic climate of 70’s New York, where we were continually perused by a string of cosmetified gangs for a murder we did not commit, our need for the majesty of disco and her many offspring was stronger than ever. Luckily for us, as we travel a further year from the handlebar moustaches and tinted sunglasses of Italian synth genii, the bongo fueled rebellion of the loft pioneers and the lusty drum machines of Chicago, their influence appears to be as undiminished as ever.
However, it seems the surrounding wistful revivalism has already begun to move on and retreat. The need is there, but the hyper-deflated concentration of ‘tastemakers’ has again flicked the grand musical randomiser and thundered off. As the tide retreats and Juno’s weekly ‘Disco’ email list gets thinner, we’re left with rare gems embedded in the sand. The sounds of Chicago beckoning our nascent Knuckles. Indeed, it was a bunch of those meddling ‘indie kids’ that brought Jamie Principle back to teenagers dancefloors this year (but that’s for another post).
Thankfully, we still have those that care sticking around, those that never left (which Italo revival are we on now?) and those that never cared much for email lists, record store dividers or iTunes genre tags. Time then, to climb aboard the enduring arpeggiation of our peers, and let it take us on a journey through the ecstatic syncopation explorations of 09.
Acid Washed – General Motors, Detroit, America – Frankie Knuckles found out where I live, if only I can reach the light switch in time.
Azari & III – Hungry for the power – Vocannibal House for night walkers.
Black Meteoric Star – Self Titled – A foggy encapsulation of an analogue intelligence. Brutality in a glove of tape hiss.
Bottin – Horror Disco – Giorgio turns out to Satan, but fear dissipates when you realise he looks like Ned Flanders in a devil costume. Italians most definitely do it better.
Den Haan – Release the beast – The sound of primeval creatures arguing about mathematical equations.
Desire – Under Your Spell – Phil Spector hits the Gallery, all guns blazing. Poetic, slow motion carnage ensues.
Holy Ghost – I Will Come Back – Monstrous Italo hooks pose a threat to the 20jfg hive mind by entirely dominating its synapses.
In Flagranti – Brash and Vulgar – The creepy science teacher left a cassette in your desk. As you watch him being bundled into the police car, you feel strangely aroused.
Joakim – Milky Ways – There’s something strangely messianical about your new employee, the ‘Colin’ name badge you gave him now reads ‘he can do no wrong’.
Lindstrøm & Christabelle – Real Life Is No Cool – Making Kosmische-Funk acceptable. Actually, making it pretty awesome.
Pictureplane – Dark Rift – A Euro-Trance tape run through a disintegrating deck, one hand slowing the motor until the air is turned to crystal.
Professor Genius – Heaven Sent – The speakers in the Delorian emanate further saw-wave broadcasts from the pulsating mind of the professor.
Slava – Dreaming Tiger – Jean-Luc Ponty goes on a 3 day bender and the results are stunningly somniferous.
Sorcerer – Chemise (Neon Lenon) – On constant rotation in the 20jfg jacuzzi room whilst we platonically scrub each others backs.
Subway – Xam – Any piece of dance music where the drums don’t come in until 4 and a half minutes, is always going to blow us away.
From Disco to House with the click of a mouse, whilst the production rate of original tracks seemed to falter somewhat, picking a re-edit from 09 is something akin to selecting the favourite molecule in your body. We don’t dare tell you where ours is, only that we called him Goliath. Back in summer, whilst we were coolin’ out in the blood filled hot-tub with our reptilian honeyz, Ze Records unleashed a selection of reassemblages old and new from their vaults. Most were of the highest order, so for those of you out there trapped in the frosty void, with the delerium of summer a faded half-concept that you cannot attribute to memory or imagination, we present an assurance that it was in fact, real.
As is traditional, Todd amputates the songsmithery of the original to reveal a delightful refrain of innocents. They circle you, hands held, whilst the pagan lord lights the tinder piled at your feet, to incite a most rapturous of combustions.
Terminal Twilight are so happening. Snow swirls outside the windows of the 20JFG demesne as the crystal fractals of ‘The Lovers’ begin to spread their own special brand of frosty magic all across the lounge. This is sparse soulful minimalism at its lethargic best, up there with the sweet android power ballads of our Italian comrades- think Chris and Cosey on a walkabout across strange rooms shrouded in layer after layer of scented mist, past which a confederation of strange shadows lurk- desires, questions, the id of the princess trapped in the heights of an ivory tower rising over the smog of orange LA vistas, this is a tunnel connecting it all, get strutting.
The Terminal Twilight 12” is coming out on the 18th of January. You can pre-order it here.
Deliberately omitted from the list above so we could write some extended gush in the space below are Pink Stallone. These purveyors of the loose wowed us in 09, and although the ‘hotly tipped’ label is both gift and curse, we received subconcious transmissions from the dancefloors of ‘010 telling us they were aching for their future wax. The memory of the aggregator is already nearing capacity with their data, so we push for joyous overload with exclusive mix.
Recorded live at the reception of our unholy union to the cold blooded chicks of the summer, we lost the scroll containing the tracklist after a scuffle broke out between one of us and a rather unconvincing man in a lizard costume, who turned up claiming to be one of their husbands. We don’t have to tell you who won, cus our scalez is real. The scroll has been fedexed to us so if you’re hungry for the knowledge check back on this post in a few days.
Something that will not be continuing in ‘010 is the covert operations of Dissident Records. Their vinyl-only idealism brought us a myriad of vintage dance activists including Gatto Fritto, Ali Renault and Casionova amongst others. But sadly there’s little means to facilitate the more wanton aspects of human nature in ideal ideologies. As such, their purity of vision in a zero attention-span digital world may well have spelled their demise.
Let’s strut for a trip down memory lane on how this awesome label fed into the hallucinations of 20jazzfunkgreats, in case you didn’t catch them the first time around. Listen, shed a tear, crack your knuckles and follow their example. And go to Juno and scope the vinyl, because it has a price, but it’s priceless: