Thursday, April 29, 2010

'Free Yourself' by Virgo (1986)

This is it... right here.  Man.  
As most of you probably know, there were 2 different groups of producers who recorded as Virgo and released records on Trax.  Here we have Marshall Jefferson and Adonis.  Two monsters of dancefloor magic.  I believe that this cut was a Jefferson solo effort, as Adonis is only credited on one of the other gems on this 12", "My Space."  I'm sure that title sounded a lot doper in '86.  
It seems to me that 'Free Yourself' was beamed down from space, directly to tape.  Even as a space explorer, I don't know where it came from.  It's just amazing.  As soon as it starts, and until it ends, you're in it.  Once it ends, it's almost as if you've had an out of body experience.  Original pressing, sounds tough.  Free Yourselves.

Friday, April 23, 2010

'Going Back To My Roots' (Disco Mix) by Lamont Dozier (1977)

Zartek is in the house, Earth people!  
I know you haven't heard from me in a long time and this was mainly due to my job doing feldercarp cleanup back in the Nelion Galaxy. After 5 years I'd just had it, so I quit.  Now it's all music, all the time. This means you're much more likely to see gems popping up here on AHOF.  Keep your eyes and ears peeled!  
I thought it would be appropriate to return with this (unreal) Dozier classic. Here we have the much sought after disco mix from an original pressing of the promo only single, cut at 45.  
Listen to the words and get lost in this one (pause).  

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back from the Disco Abyss!

As is often the case with the Awesome Hall of Fame, it's been far too long since the last update. I felt that I needed to do something a little special for this comeback post, so I asked my close friend and fellow disco addict, Travis "TK" Disko, if he'd like to be a guest curator. He gladly accepted.
TK and I met through our love of all things dancefloor. He never ceases to amaze me with his
encyclopedic knowledge of disco and house and the depth of his record crates. I'll go to his house, look through an entire stack of records, and not know a single one. That doesn't happen to me often.
TK inspires dancefloor bliss with his sets at Hot Biscuit, the monthly LA party that he hosts along with fellow house addicts, Ian Raikow and Kerri Weavil. Before moving to LA, TK was up in San Francisco throwing the infamous Gun Club party, A&Ring releases on Smash Hit Music, and making tracks with 40 Theives.
So, loyal readers of AHOF, here are 3 selections from TK, and 2 selections from your old pal Zartek. You also may notice that the mp3 artwork style has been updated too. Enjoy!

‘Express’ by 52nd Street 1982

Manchester UK in the early eighties was an instrumental time in music for many. There was Factory records, the Hacienda (what more did you need really), and while there were acts such as Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, New Order, Durutti Column, and Section 25 performing on a nightly basis, there is one band that often gets over-looked. That band is 52nd Street.
52nd Street was far funkier than any other act on Factory (except maybe for Marcel King) and even if you were aware of 52nd Street, most people still really only associated them with their semi-hits 'Cool as Ice,' 'Can't Afford' and 'Tell Me How it Feels.' For me their stand out record was their first ever single on Factory called 'Look into My Eyes,' featuring the vocal talents of Beverly McDonald (before she went on to work with Quando Quango and was replaced by Diane Charlemagne to front 52nd Street).
I'm not really sure why this record never blew up but it's the b-side, 'Express' that is the absolute stormer of a tune. The record came out in '82, but sounds like some futuristic house music and still burns up the dancefloor to this day unlike any other record I own. I don't really know what else to say about it, except grab it, vibe it, love it, and slay it! If I had to get rid of all my dance records tomorrow and were only able to keep one, this might just be it.
-Travis "TK" Disko

‘Wicked (Lucifer Mix)’ by Mistress Mix and Psychic TV 1989

This is one of the many records I picked up at Leopold's in Berkeley back in the day thanks to my old teenage friend and then roommate Nathan, a.k.a 2-4 (if it were'nt for him who knows what kind music I'd be listening to today).
The two bands that really got me into dance music were Psychic TV and Cabaret Voltaire.. Nathan was a huge PTV fan and when he turned me onto 'Jack the Tab's Acid Tablets Volume One,' I never looked back. This track in particular came out a year before on the 'Tekno Acid Beat' compilation and was later released in '89 as the b-side to 'Ja Taime.' I love both records but I always seem to play this version as it's a full sided, loud as hell, 12" pressing.
I don't have too many other records that sound quite like this. Its definitely a late night kind of joint and every time I play it, someone comes up to me and asks: 'WTF is this?? Is it acid house? Is it new beat? Is it balearic?' Who cares! Cheers Nate!!
-Travis "TK" Disko

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

‘Break Loose' by The Reg Mundy Band 1983

Before I moved from SF to LA, I got a call from an old friend who said he had just emptied out a storage unit that belonged to a man I once knew named Michael Garrett. Michael was the resident DJ at the I-Beam Disco on Haight and Shrader from its opening in 1978 to its closing in 1992, as well as the owner of the Castro district's most loved dance music outlet, the CD and Record Rack.
If anyone was lucky enough to have ever been to the CD and Record Rack you'd know going to this place was like going to disco heaven, only you got to come out alive. We used to spend hours in their garage across the street blazing through records and getting real stoked on the ones we found but knowing too well we were passing on some serious gems as we were just learning about disco back then (this was the mid-nineties).
I always wondered what happened to those records after the store closed in 2000 (I think), so when I got the call from this friend, I almost didn't believe it. I went straight to his house and it was confirmed on arrival that these records were in fact the last remaining stock of the CD and Record Rack (the rest got sold off in an auction after the untimely passing of Michael in 2004). The news about his death seriously bummed me out because I was not aware that he was gone.
This is one of the records I picked up that day. I had never seen it before and I have never seen it since. It is one seriously heavy, spaced-out disco funk jam rumored to only have had a pressing of 100 copies. This one goes out to Michael Garrett.. every time I play it.
-Travis "TK" Disko

‘My Soul Unwraps Tonight (Extended Mix)’ by Savage Progress 1984

I heard this track a few years ago on a mix that electro producer Rude 66 did. I know Ruud, so I wrote him and asked what it was. He was like 'You don't know this one?' Alas, I didn't know it! He told me what it was, and I found a copy not long after for peanuts. What initially caught my ear was the back and forth vox between Carol Isaacs and one of the male members of the group (possibly Glynnis). Unique, silly, playful, yet sexy at the same time. This is one of those records that stands alone. I don't have anything else that sounds like it. Apparently the members of the group were all from very different, diverse backgrounds and that's clear in the wonderful noise they made together.
Hopefully your soul will unwrap tonight too.

I insist that you take a minute to watch the video for this one. Words cannot explain...