Meta Soul - History of Disco, House, Dance and DJ Culture since the Sixties

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Dance music comes in many different forms, from disco to house. Though there have been various dance crazes throughout the history of popular music, Dance music became its own genre in the mid-'70s, as soul mutated into disco and whole clubs were devoted to dancing. In the late '70s, dance clubs played disco, but by the end of the decade, disco was mutating into a number of different genres. All of the genres were collected under the catch-all term "dance," though there were distinct differences between dance-pop, hip-hop, house, and techno, among other subgenres. What tied them all together was their emphasis on rhythm ó in each dance subgenre, from disco to house to rave, the beat is king.


2002, may 27; 21:37:
  • Cosmic Slop - Funkadelic [1 CD, Amazon US] My favourite Funkadelic recording, including 'Cosmic Slop', later versioned by Bill Laswell's Material. 1973. Detroiter George Clinton was both behind Parliament and Funkadelic.
    2002, may 26; 22:54:
  • Cinematic Orchestra - Every Day [1 CD, Amazon US] The second full length from one of our favorite new groups on Ninja! They're exploring a slightly more jazzy/soulful route this go 'round, and are joined on 2 tracks by St. Louis soul diva Fontella Bass, and Roots Manuva on another. Sweeping soundscapes that build up, evolve, and set a great mood!
    2002, may 26; 21:10:
  • Big Black - Songs About Fucking[1 CD, Amazon US] [more on rock] American mid eighties punk rock from Steve Albini's former band. [more on Steve Albini]. Originally released in 1988.

    2002, may 23; 19:17:
  • Disco Spectrum 3 [1 CD, Amazon US] [more on disco]
    1. Goin up in Smoke - Eddie Kendricks 2. Don't Fall In Love - Alma Faye 3. Cafe a Go Go - Sunfighter 4. Ghetto Disco - Ted Taylor 5. Can You Get Down - Universe City 6. Isabelle & Rain - Jo Boyer 7. Solar Flight - Mandre 8. Under the Skin - The Brothers 9. I Love You More - Rene & Angela 10. Somewhere Beyond - Hi Voltage 11. Groove On Down - Dunn Pearson 12. Can t Shake Your Love - Syreeta 13. Idris Muhammad Could Heaven Ever Be Like This - 14. Heartache No. 9 - Delegation 15. Please Donít Tempt Me - Lenny Williams 16. I m So Hot - Denise La Salle 17. Does It Feel Good To You - BT Express 18. Hot Disco Night - Sweet Potato 19. Reaching - Dazzle 20. Step By Step - Koxo

    The Spectrum Series: The over commercialisation of dance music has led Spectrum Compilers to search for something more substantial, more genuine than the ever-shifting ephemera that passes for DJ Culture. The current endless search for the roots of house music & the decades of club culture most of us missed out on has an new instalment Disco Spectrum III: Representing the dance music of the late 70's and early 80's that was played in clubs, not on the radio. Therefore it does not contain the oftenrecycled KC, Bee Gees, or Village People. These songs didn't make the Top 40 or the Top 100 for that matter, but were beloved by the denizens of the clubs that set the trends. Joey Negro has teamed up with close friend Sean P; (one time Kiss FM producer, compiler of numerous compilations, sleeve note writer and most helpful talking disco encyclopedia on the planet) bringing us their latest collection of underground gems. This music is the past, present, and the future. From the wavering falsetto vocals of Eddie Kendricks to the underrated Motown artist Syreeta, the album contains names we recognise such as Denise La Salle who reached Top Ten in the UK with My Toot Toot (1985) to those who have vanished like Koxo. Crate diggers will be relieved to find Rene & Angela, I love You More remastered & cut for 12 pleasure saving themselves the price of the original on the collectors market. In the studio Dunn Pearson is an accomplished pianist having produced, arranged, written and worked with such recording artists, as The O'Jays, Stephanie Mills, Teddy Pendergrass, Stevie Wonder, Roy Ayers, D'Angelo and he created a disco monster. Lenny Williams is best known as the lead singer of Tower of Power from 1972-75. He resurfaced in 1977, with production credits going to one Frank Wilson. Trainspotters will know that he made Do I Love You, the highest priced 7 single ever. Millions of words have been written about disco, it is not going to lie down & die. Two music lovers have put there knowledge to the the best of use and allowed the true heroes of the movement to step out of the shadows once again.
    2002, may 22; 22:41:
  • Skip James [1 CD, Amazon US] [more on blues]
    Saw 'Ghost World' the other night, which just got its theatrical release here in Belgium. While the movie in itself is OK, there is one song in there that I really liked: 'Devil Got My Woman' by Skip James, an old blues cut.
    2002, may 20; 12:18:
  • Dexter Wansel [1 CD, Amazon US] [more on Dexter Wansel]
    I was working at Odyssey Records in Berkeley in spring 1977 when my friend and co-worker, Tina, put a new disc on the house sound system. The mellow synthesized sounds and relentess backbeat mesmerized us, and Dexter Wansel's "What the World Is Coming To" became a personal favorite to each of us, especially the ethereal title song and hopeful "Dreams of Tomorrow" with Jean Carn. We were also captivated by the eclecticism Wansel demonstrated on this LP, from total mood pieces ("First Light in the Morning") to disco ("Dance With Me" and "Disco Lights" both found homes in clubs from the Ice Palace in NYC to The City in San Francisco) to reggae ("Going Back to Kingston Town"). Sometime later, stocking the shelves, we discovered Dexter Wansel had a previous LP, "Life on Mars", which we immediately slapped on the Odyssey turntable and promptly went into heavy in-store rotation. This recording was cohesive thematically and musically, exploring outer space through jazz-fusion in dreamy cuts like "One Million Miles from the Ground," "Themes from the Planets" and "Rings of Saturn." This would have made an excellent addition to the "Mission to Mars" soundtrack. Dexter Wansel went on to produce and write for The Jones Girls, Lou Rawls, Dee Dee Sharp Gamble and most of the Philadelphia International stable and released two more LPs; Tina and I went to work at the phone company for awhile and left Odyssey Records behind. Dexter Wansel retained a special place in our musical hearts and to my delight, Westside has now issued both Wansel LPs on one CD. Now that I can listen to Dexter anytime I feel like it, I've got to wonder" "Where's Tina at? -- : James A Allio from Oakland, CA USA, for Amazon.com
    2002, may 20; 11:52:
  • Funny Games - Michael Haneke[1 DVD, Amazon US] Saw 'Funny Games' last night, a horror flick in the European tradition of 'Man Bites Dog' and 'I Stand Alone'. Good movie, 4/5, with some a great ploy that involves the viewer. Watch out for the scene where the baddie protagonist decides to "rewind" a scene he does noet like. Haneke's lates movie, 'La Pianiste' is said to be a good movie too. Funny Games is guaranteed to outrage some viewers with its manipulative schemes, but there's no denying the film's visceral impact
    2002, may 15; 20:54:
  • Mezzanine De L'Alcazar [1 CD, Amazon US]
    A friend of mine recommended this to me. [more on lounge music]
    Album Description
    Another ace double cd collection out of France. Released on the Wagram label, home of the immensely popular 'Buddha Bar' series. CD 1 is subtitled 'Dinner Time' and includes, Modjo'Lady (Hear Me Tonight / Acoustic)', Thievery Corporation 'Lebanese Blonde', Tosca 'Orozco', Count Basic 'Speechless (Kruder & Dorfmeister Mix)' and many more. CD 2 is subtitled 'Seduction Time' and includes, Blue Six 'Pure', Lovetronic 'You Are Love', Sun Trust 'Dream Of You', Sunday Brunch 'Things You Said' amongst many others. Double digipak.
    Album Details
    As Sir Terece Conran's only restaurant in France & his first lounge bar, the Mezzanine de L'Alcazar has forged a reputation based on a careful selection of music, starting off cozy & warm & finishing off in more deep house. This compilation encapsulates these two styles, with the first disc chosen by Lamy & subtitled 'Dinner Time' & the second called 'Seduction Time' & mixed by Shade. Includes cuts from Modjo, Zuco 103, Sun Trust, 8FATFAT8, J-Walk & many more.

    2002, may 11; 23:37:
  • Just got back from a visit to the island of Madeira, including a brief stop in Lisbon this afternoon. Found two comps I didn't know the existence of, both on the German Motor Music lable, one compiled by Gilles of London and one by Joe Claussell of New York. The Joe Claussell comp includes a wonderful rendering of 'Close To You', [just like me ... they long to be ... close to you] by Jose Padilla [more on Ibiza] in a gorgeous brazillian vibe. The Roy Ayers track, Life Is Just A Moment was an instant classic for me too. Must have CD, hard to find!
    2002, may 03; 16:13:
  • Universal Sounds of America [1 CD, Amazon UK]
    1. Space 2 - Durrah, David 2. Theme de yoyo - Art Ensemble Of Chicago 3. Lions of judah - Reid, Steve 4. Astral travelling - Sanders, Pharaoh 5. Space odyssey - Belgrave, Marcus 6. Empty street - Reid, Steve 7. Kitty bey - Morris, Byron 8. Space 1 - Durrah, David 9. Space is the place - Sun Ra
    Currently in very heavy rotation on my machine. Get this! Warning: link is to Amazon UK.
    Universal Sounds of America features music from radical Afro-American Jazz musicians in the USA in the 1970's. At a time when commercial jazz music was revolving around whether it would sound good in an Elevator at low volume, a number of Jazz musicians were seeking different musical paths. Self Determination, Creative Development, Community and Education were more important to these musicians than economic wealth, fame and stardom.

    Artists such as The Art Ensemble of Chicago and Sun Ra developed around communal groups. The Art Ensemble, for instance , came out of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) founded in 1965 by Muhal Richard Abrams in Chicago. Many musicians followed the lead of Sun Ra in starting their own labels to release their own material. Artists such as Byron Morris in Washington and Steve Reid in New York

    The Tribe label in Detroit formed around a group of musicians (Wendell Harrison, Phil Ranelin, Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney and others) also produced a regular magazine focussed on the Detroit community. The Strata- East label in New York independantly released many self-financed records by the cream of creative Jazz musicians in the 70's. Many of these musicians were the spiritual descendants of John Coltrane. None more so than Pharoah Sanders , who had been a member of John Coltrane's group in the sixties. Sun Ra whose 20 minute "Space is the Place" is featured on this CD is also a major influence on many of these artists and indeed many of them at one time or another were involved with the Sun Ra group.

    Universal Sounds of America describes this period in time and features all the artists mentioned.
    http://www.souljazzrecords.co.uk/universal.htm


    2002, may 03; 16:11:
  • Mondo 2000 : A User's Guide to the New Edge : Cyberpunk, Virtual Reality, Wetware, Designer Aphrodisiacs, Artificial Life, Techno-Erotic Paganism, ... [1 book, Amazon US]
    If you have read Mondo 2000 before, then nothing in this book will be much of a surprise. In fact in 1998 this book is clearly retro. Still, to the new reader you will find much of the information interesting. The format is basically an A-Z of popular memes and cultural phenomena with a pseudo hypertext interface. High gloss and flashy. Suitable for a coffee table, but you might want to keep it on your reference shelf. Limited availability. Mentions Gilles Deleuze and Georges Bataille in bibliography. Bataille in the 'meat' section.
    2002, may 02; 21:41:
  • Gotan Project ~ Revancha del Tango [1 CD, Amazon US]
    Phillipe Cohen Salal and Christophe Mueller First Projects were the Boys from Brazil and Stereo Action Unlimited. This disc is a beautiful marriage between tango (replace the syllables TAN-GO, hence the name GO-TAN project)and electronic music, this CD represents the finest example of chillout/lounge music stream. Both Piazzolla and Buddha-Bar/Hotel Costes fans will not be disappointed. Highly recommended. Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,629
    2002, may 02; 11:27:
  • X: The Man with X Ray Eyes - Roger Corman [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    "Only the gods see everything," cautions one scientist as Dr. James Xavier (Ray Milland) experiments with a formula that will allow the human eye to see beyond the wavelength of visible light. "I am closing in on the gods," he responds with the hubris that is doomed to destroy his overreaching ambition. A mix of Greek tragedy and sci-fi potboiler, Roger Corman's X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (simply identified as X in the eerie, odd opening credits) is a familiar tale of a scientist who risks everything to explore the unknown and is finally driven mad by, literally, seeing too much. Peeping through the clothes of comely women is all good adolescent fun until the gift becomes a nightmare as his sight rages out of control. The possibilities suggested in the hints of addiction and inconsistent bouts of megalomania remain tantalizingly unexplored in the unfocused script, and Corman's cut-rate special effects are often more hokey than haunting (the "city dissolved in an acid of light" that Xavier poetically describes becomes fuzzy photography through a series of color filters). Don Rickles offers a venal turn as a scheming carnival barker turned blackmailing con man, and Diana Van der Vlis is understanding as a sympathetic scientist who tries to rescue Xavier from his spiral into tortured madness, but in the tradition of Greek tragedy, he is doomed to be destroyed by the very gifts he desires. [more on Roger Corman] One Day in the Month of September, a mean green mother from outer space came. She came to eat and eat and eat...and eat some more. But, it was Seymour Krelborn, a shop clerk who stopped the man-eating plant and saved our world from the menace of outer space. One of my favorite movies! Watch out for Jack Nicholson as a masochistic dental patient. [more on Roger Corman]
    2002, may 01; 21:57:
    Dear readers, I love you so much. i found a nice link for you all. It is http://www.ifrance.com/sneak/samples.html, a french page which lists the originals of many current house tracks. Enjoy. A pity audio behind the tracks doesn't work. I know almost none of the originals [accept for the essential ones :-)], which kind of surprises me.
    2002, may 01; 21:05:
  • Don't Turn Around-Golden Classics of Black Ivory [1 CD, Amazon US]
    Black Ivory features the wonderful vocals of Leroy Burgess. It has the terrible sound quality that we are used of Golden Classics releases. The music is very nice. [more on Leroy Burgess]
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