Monday, 8 July 2013

Track Highlight: La Mer - Sleazy disco

One of the most famous French chansons, "La Mer" has been covered endlessly by artists in every style of music imaginable. What makes Julio Iglesias' version special is the funky sleaze which his band uses to turn a melancholy and introspective song into a dirtier disco track that slinks through the speakers like a nauseous fog.

Used (with good reason) recently in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", playing in the background of a miserable alcohol-fueled office party in a dingy room choked with cigarette smoke and secrets, Iglesias croons gently as the movie reaches it's finale of betrayal and regrets. A world away from the lighthearted pop tunes of ABBA and the Bee Gees, this is disco that explores the darker side of love, something which is far more resonant, timeless and real than Travolta strutting around in a shiny suit.

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Friday, 5 July 2013

The New Wave of Disco: how technology changed music (for the better)

[Bruce Davidson: Subway (New York City, 1980)]

As the grime of the late 1970s progressed into the glossy sheen of the Reagan and Thatcherite years, New Wave began hitting the clubs across Europe and North America. Something that seems to be lost in clubs today is the sheer eclecticism that DJs displayed when sharing music with the crowd. Disco hits from a few years ago would be mashed together with the latest tracks that used shimmering synthesizers and cold drum machines instead of the warm studio sounds favoured by session musicians, creating a chaotic but frenetic atmosphere that in many ways mirrored the social and economic upheavals of the time.

No Wave Disco - Disco/New Wave DJ mix:

Artist // Track

1. Tambi - You Don't Know (Horse Meat Disco Remix)
2. Young Marco - Darwin in Bahia
3. Rose Laurens - American Love
4. Visage - Fade to Gray
5. Wild Geese - Macho Disco Master
6. Metro Area - Atmosphrique
7. The Human League - Don't You Want Me?

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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Not your Dad's disco: the origins of dance music

In the beginning... there was the Paradise Garage. Arguably the birth place of what would later become modern dance/DJ culture, the Paradise Garage had the most impressive sound system ever heard.