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

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This is the album pundits like to point to when they accuse Kraftwerk of being digital-age visionaries; an all-too-easy assessment to make in the face of tracks such as Home Computer and Computer Love... Read more

Meta Soul: A Gay History of Disco music and house music by JahSonic

2002, Aug 28; 01:14:
  • A Brief History of Ambient. - Various Artists [1 CD, Amazon US]

    2002, Jul 31; 20:11:
  • 2 many DJs - Various Artists[1 CD, Amazon US]

    Stephen & David Dewaele from Soulwax have created a new way of old-style DJ-ing, which is definitely influenced by great names like DJ Kool Herc, Granmaster Flash and Melle Mel. Their cutting technique just works in a major fashion, just listen to the intro by Emerson, Lake & Palmer Vs. Basement Jaxx. Others thrown into this past & present eclectic mix include Velvet Underground, Salt 'n Pepa, The Stooges, 10cc, Royksopp, The Breeders and... you get the idea. 45 tracks in 60 minutes!

    1. Cant Get You Out Of My Head (Soulwax Elektronic Remix) - Kyl 2. Wheres Your Head At (Head A Pella) - Basement Jaxx 3. Fuck The Pain Away - Peaches 4. Im Waiting For The Man - Velvet Underground 5. J Aime Regarder Les Mecs - Polyester 6. Dance To The Music - Sly And The Family Stone 7. Oh Sheila - Ready For The World 8. I Wanna Be Your Dog - Dakar And Grinser 9. Disko Kings - Ural 13 Diktators 10. The O Medley - Bobby Orlando 11. Silverscreen Shower Scenes - Felix Da Housecat 12. No Fun - The Stooges 13. Push It - Salt N Pepa 14. Joe Le Taxi - Hanayo With Jurgen Paape 15. Crush On You - The Jets 16. Funkacise - Funkacise Gang 17. Motocross Madness - Soul Grabber 18. French Kiss - Lil Louis And The World 19. Serious Trouble - Zongamin 20. Androgyny Thee Glitz Mix By Felix Da Housecat - Garbage 21. Disc Jockeys Delight Vol 2 - Frank Delour 22. Kaw Liga (Prairie Mix) - The Residents 23. Shake Your Body - Carlos Morgan 24. Into The Stars (Firebirds Remix) - Alapawezen 25. Concepts - Interstelllar 26. 99 Luftballoons - Nena 27. Independent Women Part 1 - Destinys Child 28. Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc 29. 9 To 5 - Dolly Parton 30. Eple - Royksopp 31. Death Disco - Arbeid Adelt 32. Keine Melodien Feat MJ Lan - Jeans Team 33. I Wish - Skee Lo 34. My Gigolo - Maurice Fulton Presents Stress 35. Cannonball - The Breeders 36. Human Fly - The Cramps 37. Danger High Voltage - The Wildbunch 38. Dont Bring Me Down - Op 1 Bastards 39. Hand To Phone - Adult 40. La Rock 01 - Vitalic 41. I Was Made For Loving You - Queen Of Japan 42. The Beach - New Order 43. Sandwiches - Detroit Grand Pubahs 44. I Sit On Acid - Lords Of Acid 45. Start Button - Streamer Feat Private Thoughts In Public Plac
    2002, Jul 30; 23:25:
    Two new music critics featured: Dave Marsh on account of coining the phrase punk rock and Lester Bangs for being the bad boy of rock criticism.
    2002, Jul 30; 20:11:

    Respect to Tigersushi, a French site that has been online for more than a year. I kept bumping in to them when checking my own site's stats. Only today did I first check their radio station! The 'station' is an database-driven, online streaming service. Wow, what an experience. From Mami Chan to Hugh Masekela, from Mami Chan to the Beatles. These guys know their music. Very ecclectic and always to the point/relevant.

    2002, Jul 30; 20:11:
  • Hustle! - Reggae Disco - Various Artists[1 CD, Amazon US]
    1. Ring my bell - Blood Sisters 2. Don't stop till you get enough - Laro, Derrick & Trinity 3. I'm every woman - Latisha 4. Don't let it go to your head - Black Harmony (1) 5. Reggae beat goes on - Family Choice 6. Rapper's delight - Xanadu & Sweet Lady 7. Upside down - Carol Cool 8. Be thankful - One Blood

    Eccentric stuff, this. On their excellent Studio One Soul compilation, the Soul Jazz label provided an engrossing history of how American R&B informed reggae, destroying the assumption that Jamaican music evolved in some kind of splendid isolation. Now, Hustle takes that story to the next level, by uncovering the frequently weird impact disco had on reggae.

    For most of this engaging album, the focus shifts from 1970s Jamaica to 1980s London, where the Lover's Rock school of gentle reggae seemed more open to absorbing Studio 54 glitz and recycling it at a languorous pace. Hence Carol Cool makes a far better hash of "Upside Down" than Diana Ross ever did, attacking it with an endearingly tinny horn section and blipping electro effects that could've been provided by a primitive video game.

    True, the quality of this music hardly measures up to the Studio One productions that dominate Soul Jazz's compilations. But it's still endlessly fascinating, for here's proof that some reggae was in thrall to the tackiest American music at a time when so many punks were mythologising its supposed rootsiness. This is a magically impure music that complicates tidy cultural stereotypes. And, on Xanadu & Sweet Lady's glorious version of "Rapper's Delight" (one of the few Jamaican tracks here), it points the way to the marvellous ragga/hip-hop hybrids so prevalent in Kingston right now. --John Mulvey
    [more on disco ...] ... [more on reggae ...] 2. Sunshine star - Open Sky Unit 3. Colours of the night - Fertile Ground 4. Woza cindi - Bahula, Julian 5. Summer's gone - Kerleta, Zeljko 6. Song of bebe - Jazztronik 7. Paranthe seziure - Landis, Shelia 8. Sombre guitar - Danser's inferno 9. Nena - Masada 10. Zouk - Cultier, Marius 11. Rusty McDusty - Wilson, Morris 12. I'm a good woman - Silky Spearman 13. When I open my eyes - Payne, Caveril 14. En hiver - Fertile Ground

    2002, Jul 28; 10:03:
  • Jazz Bizniz - VA, compiled by Russ Dewbury [1 CD, Amazon US]
    1. Superstition - Mobley, Dennis & Fresh Taste 2. Frozen tundra lady - Steamheat 3. False paradise - Starcrost 4. Morning - Alexandria, Lorez 5. Gemstones - Wilson, Jack (1) 6. No other love but you - Labbe, Clarice 7. Pretty bird - Terea 8. Let the sunshine in - Sons & Daughters Of Lite 9. Afrobeat - Jazz Techniques 10. Ocells del mes Enlla - Sabates, Jordi 11. Partido alto - Airto & Flora 12. Gang progress - Ceccarelli, Andre 13. Inner city blues - Moulin, Marc 14. Morning spring - Davis, Copeland 15. If you can live with yourself - Davis, Copeland
    This one came out in 1999, compiled by Russ Dewbury of Counterpoint records UK. It was followed up by an equally good volume 2.
    2002, Jul 24; 10:25:

    Facing the Music
    Rock stars and music-industry execs once ruled the earth, but now -- in terms of size and profit margins -- the music industry is becoming the book business (minus the literacy).

    Hemingway had rock-star status (and even impersonators). Steinbeck was Springsteen. Salinger was Kurt Cobain. Dorothy Parker was Courtney Love. James Jones was David Crosby. Mailer was Eminem. This is to say -- and I understand how hard this is to appreciate -- that novelists were iconic for much of the first half of the last century. They set the cultural agenda. They made lots of money. They lived large (and self-medicated). They were the generational voice. For a long time, anybody with any creative ambition wanted to write the Great American Novel.

    But starting in the fifties, and then gaining incredible force in the sixties, rock-and-roll performers eclipsed authors as cultural stars. Rock and roll took over fiction's job as the chronicler and romanticizer of American life (that rock and roll became much bigger than fiction relates, I'd argue, more to scalability and distribution than to relative influence), and the music business replaced the book business as the engine of popular culture. [...]

    2002, Jul 22; 21:49:
  • In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze - Various Artists[2 CD, Amazon US]
    Deleuze died in 1995, this CD was released in 1996, as an hommage to Gilles. An excellent CD that showcases a lot of the top electronic artists. Even this is in no way an easy piece of art to listen to, it sure pays back all the effort and the concentration it requires from the listener. The general mood is very dark and the drones play a big part in it, so stay away if minimalist electronics are not your cup of tea, otherwise enjoy. [more on Gilles Deleuze]
    2002, Jul 14; 19:50:
  • Northern Soul Connoisseurs[1 CD, Amazon US]

    The mid 60's, Britain began embracing American Soul music, the Motown sound appealed more than earlier 60's soul records that been hits in the states. A club scene built up around the country that was dedicated to dancing to these records (which included Motown and other sounds from Detroit). The rest of England moved on to either Funk or Progressive Rock, hardcore soul fans in the North stayed with fast, four-beat dance music; searching out ever more rare examples of the sound they loved. [more on Northern Soul]

    2002, Jul 12; 13:28:
  • VARIOUS - Spiritual Life Music -- Label Compilation [2 CD, Amazon US]
    An incredibly rich selection of tracks -- 20 tunes on 2CDs, pulled together from the globally-conscious catalog of the Spiritual Life label! Spiritual Life know no boundaries -- as their artists bring together a world of influences and instruments, filtering them through the cultural hodgepodge of the current New York scene, into a sound that is beyond compare! The set features some of the best singles on the label over the past 5 years or so. [more on Joe Claussell]
    The other thing about house that is frustrating pour moi is its lack of neophilia and futurist aspiration. Quite the opposite, in fact: people who get into house often seem to take on/buy into this suffocating sense of inheritance and heritage--legacy, tradition, the notion of a noble past that is long-gone, of declining musical standards. The culture is always looking back and honoring its ancestors, rather than looking forward and desecrating them. Connected to this is the curious way that house has become one of the absolute last bastions of muso-dom (solos! 'feel'! light jazzy inflections! swing!) with all its attendant hippy-dippy fusionesque tendencies towards mysticism and "it's all music, man" drivel. Think Joe Claussell's Spiritual Life label, Ashley Beedle's Black Jazz Chronicles, all that awfully dreary Afro-Brazilian influenced house....-- [more on Simon Reynolds]
    2002, Jul 12; 13:28:
  • Arkology - Lee Scratch Perry [3 CD, Amazon US]
    The nearly four hours of astounding music encoded on these three discs merely scratch the surface of the highly personal sonic universe created by this legendarily eccentric, yet ridiculously prolific, dub-reggae producer. It's still the best source of entry into Lee "Scratch" Perry's world, though, a place defined by homemade avant-garde production techniques applied to the wittiest, angriest, sexiest, and most soulful reggae tunes ever written. Perry was born in 1936, and his career spans the history of Jamaican music. These 52 tracks, however, derive mainly from the late 1970s, when he was at the height of his considerable powers and recording hits like Max Romeo's "War in a Babylon" and Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves" for Island. Helpfully annotated, with a healthy handful of unreleased tracks, Arkology is a beginner's banquet of tracks that sound increasingly deep, daring, and downright frightening as the depth of Perry's talent is plumbed. --Richard Gehr [more on perry]

    2002, Jul 09; 23:35:
  • DJ Kicks - Playgroup [1 CD, Amazon US]
    Playgroup producer Trevor Jackson has compiled the latest in the critically acclaimed DJ Kicks series.
    "I never went to the Roxy or Danceteria, but I went to the British equivalent of those clubs," producer Trevor Jackson has said, discussing his Playgroup project. Essentially, it's an English kid's grown-up homage to his teenage fantasy of early-'80s New York dance culture, a vision—filtered entirely through records and the music press, but not inaccurate—of downtown Manhattan as a polyrhythmically perverse utopia of sexual/racial border-crossing, rootless cosmopolitanism, and all-night parties tinged with noir sleaze. -- Simon Reynolds
    The next installment will hit the streets through Studio K7! on July 1, and features tracks from Maurice Fulton, Random Factor, Metro Area and Ralphi Rosario.
    Previous DJ Kicks releases have been compiled by luminaries such as Nightmares On Wax, Truby Trio, Stereo MCs, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Carl Craig and Stacey Pullen.
    Maurice Fulton presents Boof - We Ana Rago - You're God (I:Cube Remix) Material - Ciquri (Discomix) Harlequin Fours - Set It Off Impedance - Tainted Love Random Factor - Broken Mirror Cultural Vibe - Ma Foom Bey (Love Chant Version) Metro Area - Caught Up Tiny Trendies - The Sky Is Not Crying Smith 'N Hack - To Our Disco Friends Zongamin - Tunnel Music Charles Schillings - No Communication, No Love (Salt City Orchestra Mix) Nigo - March Of General (Chicken Lips Conquest Dub) Jay Walk - Buggin' Becky (Fully Bearded Mix) KC Flightt - Let's Get Jazzy (Dopy Dub Mix) Human League - Do Or Die (Dub) Parallax Corporation - Anti Social Tendencies Ralphi Rosario - Get Up Get Out Bobby O - Still Hott 4 U Dexter - I Don't Care Wanda Dee - Gonna Make You Sweat (Acapella) The Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers Flying Lizards - Money B
    Very enjoyable, harks back to early eighties electro music, mixing it up with newer shit, while sustaining the same vibe. 4/5
    2002, Jul 06; 13:41:
  • Todd Terry - Todd Terrry's Greatest Hits[1 CD, Amazon US]
    [more on Todd Terry]
    2002, Jul 06; 13:41:
  • Kenny Dope Gonzalez Presents: Disco Heat [3 CDs, Amazon US]
    Disc 1
    1 Life On Mars - Dexter Wansel 2 Me & The Gang - Bohannon 3 You Got Me Running - Lenny Wiliams 4 I Need You - Sylvester 5 Groovin You - Harvey Mason 6 New York Moving Ahzz 7 Funkanova (Kenny Dope Version) - Wood, Brass & Steel 8 Street Player - Chicago 9 When The World Is Running Down - The Police 10 Test Press - Tango Hustle
    Disc 2
    1 Love In C Minor - Cerrone 2 Saturday - Norma Jean 3 Dance With Me - Carrie Lucas 4 25 Hours - Lanier 5 Power Line - Double Journey 6 Go Bang - Dinosaur L 7 Jazz Carnival - Azymuth 8 Keep On Dancin’ - Gary’s Gang 9 In The Bush - Musique 10 Delirium - Francine McGee
    Disc 3
    1 Hitman - Chantal Curtis 2 The Night The Lights Went Out - The Tramps 3 Double Cross - First Choice 4 Just As Long As I Got You - Love Committee 5 Here I Go Again - Thelma Houston 6 Congas Fun - Congas 7 Soul On Your Side - Rhythm Makers 8 Twilight Zone - The Manhattan Transfer 9 Pow Wow - Cory Daye 10 Gotta Get Your Love - Clyde Alexander 11 Sweet Jazz Music - Panache

    A wealth of spacey disco tunes -- all selected by Kenny Dope for this massive 3CD set! 2 of the set's CDs feature unmixed tracks -- a total of 18 in all, with a wide range of obscure dancefloor numbers from the 70s and early 80s, especially those that have had strong currency in recent years, thanks to a far-thinking approach to production and instrumentation. Disc 3 of the set features Kenny mixing together tracks on the other two -- coming up with a swirling batch of grooves that are all linked by the unique Dope approach! There's loads of choice rarebits in the set -- and tracks include "Just As Long As I Got You" by Love Committee, "I Need You" by Sylvester, "Powerline" by Double Journey, "In The Bush" by Musique, "Go Bang" by Dinosaur L, "Me & The Gang" by Hamilton Bohannon, "You Got Me Running" by Lenny Williams, "Grooving You" by Harvey Mason, "Got To Have Your Love" by Clyde Alexander, "Keep On Dancin" by Gary's Gang, "Life On Mars" by Dexter Wansel, "Delerium" by Francine McGhee, "Jazz Carnival" by Azymuth, and "Here I Go Again" by Thelma Houston.
    [more on Kenny dope Gonzalez ]

    2002, July 04; 00:29:

    What The Experts Say [on MAW]
    Gilles Peterson: "They're unbeatable DJs. They're frightening to play alongside because they've got it totally down. They've got Latin, house, dance, disco, hip hop, funk, rare groove, jazz. They've got it all absolutely covered. That's what makes MAW the true Masters."
    Jocelyn Brown: "No matter where we are in the world, when we come together we know what we'll do: we'll make music to unify the elders with the young ones."
    Frankie Knuckles: "In an era when so much is taken away from the reality of music as I've always known it, it's so refreshing to know the quality of the music I receive from these two gentlemen will always be the best! So many people ask, "Why do you continue to do this?" MAW is one of the reasons."
    Todd Terry: "They always had an ear for bringing something different to the table as far as live musicians are concerned, and they're the only house guys that put on shows with a full band, which I think is very creative. They've taken dance to another level." Quotes reprinted from
    Originally written by Tim Lawrence / BBE Records.

    2002, July 04; 00:06:

    The biologist Richard Dawkins describes fashion as a 'cultural virus' spread by copying. He calls the basic unit of copying the 'meme'. (For example, the wearing of baseball caps backwards is a meme). Memes tear through populations like the flu. They are especially prevalent in places where people crowd together: big cities, school playgrounds.

    2002, July 04; 00:02:

    Somebody translated parts of the site in German and added a "samples" section which is quite good and extensive --> http

    2002, July 03; 23:37:
  • Rhythm & Sound - Rhythm & Sound [1 CD, Amazon US] with Tikiman on vocals, released by a Detroit-Berlin crew Basic Channel, headed by Maurizio Von Oswald. I have been a long time fan of the dub-vocalist Tikiman from Caribbean Island of Dominica, especially his collaboration with the Berlin-minimalists Rhythm and Sound.

    2002, July 03; 23:27:
  • Frederic Galliano - African Divas[1 CD, Amazon US]
    The sounds of Africa have become increasingly prevalent in house music recently - from the subtle afro-beat of the likes of Joe Claussell to the pummeling tribal beats of, well, everyone else. French deep house savant Frederic Galliano has taken this current trend to its logical conclusion by traveling to Africa to record with a multitude of local musicians, returning with two experimental suites making the traditional sounds of Africa more palatable to the masses without sliding into Deep Forest-like advert soundtrack crappery.
    The Mom Kai Suite begins with more traditional sounds and just a touch of dub, Galliano preferring not to overshadow the ancient talents involved, even adding the sounds of an African village with no more accompaniment than the wind. It doesn’t take long though before the fusion begins, firstly in a sublime jazzy house style moving into harder tech house sounds, skittery off-kilter drums and then back to house again. Traditional African vocal and instrumental stylings constantly maintain a presence giving the set a bright organic feel.
    The second Manding-ko suite keeps its distance from contemporary dancefloors initially, content to leave the stage to the African artists. Eventually house beats return and it is at this point it becomes clear that this experiment is a winner as Hadja Kouyates’ exotic voice combines brilliantly with the chunky 4/4’s. Echoey dub effects and basslines abound throughout the remainder of the suite re-creating the wide open space feel of an African savanna.
    A horizon broadening set that allows for give and take between traditional elements and technology and successfully brings Senegal onto our dancefloors via your front room. -- DARREN COLLINS
    2002 Jun blog:
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    [ Larry Levan | DISCO | DUB | HOUSE | The Nineties ]
    Meta Soul LARRY LEVAN HISTORY History of Disco and House Music Current Trends in Club Culture's History
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