My Kind Of Disco, Part 2


Sylvia Striplin: Give Me Your Love
Taken from the 12″ on 1980

Peekskill Express: Raise Ya Hands
Taken from the 12″ on Bee Pee 1981

Johnny Harris: Odyssey
Taken from the 12″ on Sunshine Sound (1980)

Don Armando’s 2nd Street Rhumba Band: I’m an Indian Too
Taken from the 12″ on Buddha (1979)

Sam Sparro: Cling Wrap
Taken from the advance CDR E.P. Black Gold (now available on import) (2008)

Hercules And Love Affair: Raise Me Up
Taken from the self-titled release on DFA (2008)

A follow up to my post from last week, today we explore some classic sounds, some quirky sounds and a few selections from the new frontiers of modern… D.I.S.C.O.

A bit about our little disco adventure…

As for Part One of the series: the Golden Flamingo track (could those drums sound any iller?) and the Wild Sugar song were both new to me. The first ripped from a very well-recommended series brought to us by the heads at Counterpoint, who have done well to piece together a collection of disco, boogie, and disco-rap into a tightly knit two installment comp. The second, a nice little flea market score. (So that’s where “Brass Monkey” comes from…).

The other joints (Charanga 76, known for their latin reinterpretations of disco classics and a staple of my DJ sets for the handclapping hell-raiser that it is; Evelyn King, courtesy of 98.1 up in the Bay, where the song held court on a regular basis; and Milton Wright, like, woah) have all been with me for a minute and I thought it long overdue for a bit of sharing and caring.

Part Two–above–includes some recently discovered obscurities such as the Peekskill track which I’ve been hunting for for a minute. (Wait it out till the five-minute mark and you get an absolutely epic three-minute crescendo…)

Don Armando was a side project of Kid Creole in the early 80’s. Already known for his bizarre breed of disco/funk/rap, this kind of track is so curiously pleasing, it takes about fifty listens before you start to wonder how you ever lived without it. Sometime Creole collaborator Fonda Rae absolutely slays the wacky vocals which were originally sung by… Ethel Merman?!? That’s right. The writing credit on this track goes to Irving Berlin. Go figure.

The blazing “Odyssey” synth-fest was originally used as scoring for an episode of the 80’s TV show, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century–???, prior to my existence–before K.C. and the Sunshine Band brought Harris on to their own label for the 12″ release. Listen to that instrumental freak out.

“Give Me Your Love” is the a-side to a banging two-fer which features a certain unforgettable Biggie/Junior Mafia sample and epic jam in its own right on the flip.

Lastly, the new stuff.

Forget that Sam Sparro happens to be a friend of a friend–Dude is mad talented and his new record is apparently blowing the F up in Britain right now. If Jamie Lidell wrote with a sense of humor and Jamiroquai returned from Jupiter, maybe the three of them could form the epickest 3-part pale-skinned Prince cover band ever. Till then, don’t sleep on fresh talent.

And for best record of the last 12 months I nominate… Hercules and Love Affair. Run, don’t walk, to you local record store where you may happily fork over 20 bucks (sorry, import only) for the most inventive dance record in recent memory. Gorgeously layered disco production + vocals by Antony (yeah, as in, and the Johnsons…) =an absolute frickin’ dream. THE ALBUM IS INCREDIBLE.

So there it is. Get your dance on, friends. This is good music to sweat by.