Here’s a short overview I wrote for DJ Mag’s Disco edition last year, outlining some of the musical threads that resulted in the evolving Disco movement’s expansion from the underground into the eye of mainstream attention as the ‘70s unfurled.
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Back in 1966, The Beatles’ record producer, George Martin, executed my favourite singular edit of all time. John Lennon had been working on the now iconic ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ – he’d recorded 2 versions, and was faced with the dilemma of wanting to use the first section of one recording, but take the rest of the track from a completely different and more progressive version. His comment to George Martin, when the producer pointed out the difficulties of matching pitch and tempo, was ‘you can fix it’. The fixed version is the definitive one that we all know, two recordings perfectly merged together by one decisive splice. You can hear it, if you listen carefully, at just before the minute mark, on ‘going to’:
I’ve been giving the studio computer a bit of a spring clean, sorting everything into the correct folders and generally getting myself better organised. Given that I’ve entered a new phase, as far as remixing is concerned, partnering up with Derek Kaye nowadays, I think this is a good time to clear the decks and make the work I did between 2005-2013 available to stream via SoundCloud as a complete collection – 40 tracks in all.
A couple of months ago, when I last played in Brighton, I was talking to Paul Budd, the promoter (and DJ Pablo Contraband), about how things were going with his Unity Agency (a man of many fingers in pies is Paul / Pablo). He was really excited about just having added The Reflex as the latest addition to an increasingly impressive roster that also includes the likes of Late Nite Tuff Guy, Rayko, Social Disco Club and Fingerman. The Reflex is London based French DJ / Producer, Nicolas Laugier, and it wasn’t just his work that impressed Paul, but his overall persona. Paul told me;
Daft Punk are sitting pretty at the top of the UK singles chart for the first time. The track in question, ‘Get Lucky’, taken from their forthcoming album, ‘Random Access Memories’, came as something of a surprise, for instead of hitching itself to the current EDM juggernaut that’s sweeping America, the French duo have completely bucked the trend by drawing their influence from Disco, featuring its most celebrated guitarist, the great Nile Rodgers of the Chic Organisation (as well as R&B vocalist, Pharrell Williams). A media sensation, it’s everywhere at the moment – on the radio, on the TV, in the clubs and, of course, all over the internet, becoming the most streamed new release in Spotify history. It’s already been re-edited by a whole host of DJs, myself, via Richard Lee, included (www.gregwilson.co.uk/2013/04/just-plain-daft/), and is pretty much nailed on to be the single of the summer.
ARTIST: AUGUSTUS PABLO
ALBUM: KING TUBBYS MEETS ROCKERS UPTOWN
LABEL: YARD MUSIC
This Sunday (May 6th) at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
Earlier this month Leftside Wobble shared an edit of Man Friday’s ‘Love Honey, Love Heartache’ on his SoundCloud. I left a comment highlighting the history of this track, which read as follows:
ARTIST: GRACE JONES
This Sunday (March 6th), at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
I first came across Adrian Luvdup in the early ’90s, when he was deejaying as one of the Luvdup Twins. I remember going to a night they played at in Liverpool that was promoted by the Girls On Top, Jill & Sonia, whose parties I used to enjoy (having said this I’d been to Most Excellent at The Brickhouse in Manchester prior to this and I’ve since learnt that Adrian was a resident there). The ‘twins’ were an integral part of that post-Madchester period from which the Chemical Brothers (then students in the city) drew so much inspiration, with DJs like Justin Robertson, Richard Moonboots and Greg Fenton, along with Adrian, Mark, and subsequently Mike Luvdup (aka Balearic Mike), evolving a distinctly Mancunian brew of Balearia, which resonates right through to this day.
From Time Capsule – Aug 1976.
In August ‘76 the postman delivered what I originally thought was an LP, but, on closer inspection, discovered to be a 12” single’ – the first I’d ever seen. It included 3 tracks from the Lalo Schifrin album ‘Black Widow’ – on one side ‘Flamingo’ and ‘Quiet Village’, with the other side taken up by what would become a big UK club track, ‘Jaws’ (Schrifin’s discofied adaptation of the theme music from the 1975 blockbuster movie, which provided director Steven Spielberg with his major breakthrough). It was sent to me by the club promotion company M.I.F.