The sixteenth edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture:
WALTER GIBBONS – Brooklyn-born Walter Gibbons was a small and shy figure but highly assertive where music was concerned. Whilst Kool Herc juggled the breaks at his Bronx block parties, Gibbons experimented with a similar technique at Galaxy 21 – he was known as the ‘DJ’s DJ’. Furthermore, along with Tom Moulton, Gibbon’s is revered at the origins of remixing – the first DJ to be let loose with the multitrack.
TOMMY BOY RECORDS – Launched in 1981 by Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy became synonymous with the burgeoning electro sound in New York. Releasing music from Afrika Bambaataa, including the Arthur Baker produced game-changer, ‘Planet Rock’, the label was at the very cusp, releasing The Jonzun Crew, Planet Patrol, G.L.O.B.E & Whiz Kid, as well as the raw cut and paste of hip-hop, pressing Keith LeBlanc’s brilliant collage of Malcolm X sound bites, ‘No Sell Out’, and Double Dee & Steinski’s seminal ‘Lessons’ series.
WHISKY A GO GO – Opened in 1964 at a time when the concept of the discotheque, where recorded music was played in a nightclub setting, was still largely foreign, the Sunset Strip’s Whisky A Go Go not only acted as one of the key incubators in LA’s live band scene, but also became world-renowned for the freestyle dancing it espoused. Given its rich ‘60s legacy, the club would fast become a hallowed LA music institution, remaining open to this day.
GOOD TIMES – Atlantic’s best-selling single, the disco-funk of ‘Good Times’, inspired by the Great Depression standard, ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’ (1929), was Chic’s last chart hit. As it was climbing the chart, Steve Dahl’s ‘Disco Sucks’ campaign did much to harm the genre but the disco sound resonated in the Bronx, where it re-emerged re-recorded on Sugar Hill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and later central to the cut-up masterclass ‘The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel’.
Read this month’s column in full here:
//djmag.com/features/greg-wilsons-discotheque-archives-16Read all pieces in full here: