Saturday, February 16, 2008

Disco Not Disco: Post Punk, Electro and Leftfield Disco Classics 1974-1986 (2008)


This is the first time I heard "Disco Not Disco" compilation and I definetly recommend at least this one. The previous two are most likely better than this one but I just cant seem to find them. When I do, I will upload them also.

This is alternative club music from the raging age of disco movements of 1970's and 1980's. A true gem, and imagine - it was published just one month ago.


Given new life through an arrangement with !K7, the Strut label -- the source of so many wonderful compilations covering many neglected points within the spectrum of dance music across several decades -- resumes with its third Disco Not Disco compilation, compiled by "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" author Bill Brewster (who provides typically sharp and fact-packed notes) and Strut founder Quinton Scott. When the first two volumes were released in 2000 and 2002, many listeners susceptible to strange rhythmic sounds had yet to be introduced to Arthur Russell or Material, and it's safe to say that those who never set foot inside places like the Paradise Garage or the Loft would have ever thought to give a 16-minute cut off a 1981 Steve Miller Band album any kind of attention. Since then, compilations covering roughly the same territory -- or one or two specific subgenres dusted off by these discs -- have become common enough to make some Disco Not Disco disciples a little cynical about a third volume. Most of the tracks on this volume are indeed readily available on an assortment of compilations released within the last ten years: Nine O'Clock Drop, Anti NY, the Mutant Disco reissues, Rough Trade Shops: Post Punk and a few recent single-artist reissues, just to cite a few. Even so, we're not talking about the umpteenth big-disco-hit comp; "Contort Yourself" has a long way to go before it becomes one-tenth as comped as "I Will Survive." (And it's not like all the tracks from the first two Disco Not Discos had ever been wiped out of existence, either.) Easily the most post-punk volume of the series, there's Vivien Goldman (with the relatively scarce "Launderette"), Delta 5, Shriekback, Konk, and Maximum Joy. They mix it up with another assortment of obscurities from unexpected corners. The biggest, deepest surprises are "Crunch Cake" (thick, tightly wrapped fusion-funk from Isotope), "Binary" (a frosty 1985 B-side from France's Kazino), and "Seoul Music" (one of the series' most distinctive tracks, from Yellow Magic Orchestra, a spell weaved by spiraling percussion and serpentine bass). Even considering the timing and context, the disc is every bit as replayable as the second volume. The only truly bad move here is the inclusion of the instrumental mix of A Number of Names' proto-techno "Sharevari," which is like favoring an instrumental of Laid Back's "White Horse" over the vocal version. (Then again, the instrumental does leave room for you to perfect your impersonation of a black Detroiter approximating a posh Frenchman speaking English.) Important note: Gina X Performance's "Kaddish" is not on the disc, even though it is listed. "Seoul Music" is in its place -- in the end, a good thing. Bizarrely, the advance copies did list the YMO track and included it, and there was no Gina X presence whatsoever.



Sr. Yoni said...


Anne said...

really great - very sexy

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