One of our favourite blogs, the long-running, Texas-based Dance Till You’re Dead, asked me to contribute the second installment of their new ‘ten tracks’ feature (the first in the series came from Huntleys & Palmers bossman Andrew Thomson).
I’ve put together a random selection of ten house and disco tracks that I’ve been spinning lately – and jotted down a few words for each. Have a listen to the playlist on the DTYD site here.
Nirosta Steel – Foxy Pup
This was produced on tape by Bob Blank and mixed by Arthur Russel in 1985 for Steven Hall’s solo project – it’s only now seen the light of day on Hollie Records. I love the lo-fi aesthetic – and it sounds strangely modern with that metallic, off-kilter drum beat. I’ve since been getting into a lot of old Arthur Russel productions, especially the Dinosaur stuff.
Romanthony – I Feel It
My favourite Romanthony track. Hugely underrated and quite hard to find, it’s the B-side on The House Of God 12” from 1995. Finally bought a copy the other day – just a week before Romanthony sadly passed away.
Kay Sputnik – Forever MJ (Kay Sputnik Forever Dance edit)
My all-time favourite edit. Heard Theo Parrish play it at Corsica Studios once and I just kept bugging him until eventually he lifted the record off the turntable and showed it to me. It’s got a lot of change-ups so it’s pretty hard to mix but well worth it.
Mr. Tophat & Art Alfie – Dusty Jazz
A slow waltzer from these two Swedish wunderkinds. Sweet and refined house music with a touch of ballroom glitz.
The Popular People’s Front – My Baby Stays Out All Night
Popular People’s Front’s output is few and far between, but the stuff that is out there is fantastic – usually rugged electro-funk remixes of obscure disco. This, taken from their Limited Series, is probably their most well-known track, but their four Samples Pleasures EPs are really worth checking out too, every track is a gem.
Claudja Barry – Dub Dynamite (Social Disco Club Edit)
My secret weapon: if all else fails I just return to this – it has this huge driving bassline. But the real treat comes in the latter half, lots of passionate, lush disco instrumentation. Disco Deviance is a great label for dancefloor-friendly re-edits.
Jamie Fatneck Low – Billie’s Had Her Jeans Acidwashed
Greg Wilson dropped this ‘Billie Jean’ edit at Glastonbury this year and the place went nuts. I haven’t had a chance to play it out yet, needs to be the right party vibe!
Eddie Drennon – Disco Jam
I play this out a lot, a raucous disco cut – with plenty of cowbell action – from 1978 that increases in tempo as it progresses. Drennon was best known for merging Latin and disco sounds, and this was the last single he released.
Edward – Naxa
A great one for the warm-up set, it’s got that big booming bass every two bars and a wiggly disco-loop which makes it perfect for setting the vibe during early doors. Released on Mark E’s Merc label a couple of years back. I’m cautious to use the word ‘Balearic’ here.
Pépé Bradock – CU @ Minna & Lafayette
Pépé has a lot of gems, but this is my favourite. The bass has so much warmth and works nicely with the jazzy chords and string samples. It all feels slightly rugged thanks to the analogue equipment. The term ‘deep house’ is routinely abused, but this is how deep house should sound.