Category Archives: Disco

Change – Glow Of Love (1980)

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Will Change be remembered for their heavily Chic-influenced sound throughout the early 1980s, or perhaps as that disco ensemble that cleverly showcased Luther Vandross on their debut album? The latter I think. ‘Searching’ and the title track off their 1980 long player The Glow of Love were instant classics. Have a great weekend.

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Instant Funk – Got My Mind Made Up (1978)

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Two years after penning the dancefloor classic ‘Touch & Go’ for Ecstasy, Passion & Pain, Philly legend Bunny Sigler produced one of my all time favourite disco tracks. Like many of best disco moments (think ‘Jingo’, ‘Love Break’ and ‘Let’s Start A Dance’), Instant Funk’s ‘I Got My Mind Made Up’ is relentless in its groove. This sultry classic would be immortalised by Public Enemy’s Welcome To The Terrordome’ and De La Soul’s ‘A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays’ in 1990-91.  Bunny Sigler died last month; some of the Sound of Philadelphia went with him. R.I.P.

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Wood, Brass & Steel – Funkanova (1976)

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To some, Wood, Brass & Steel’s ‘Funkanova’ is an archetypal jazz funk track. To others, it’s simply a disco instrumental. To the clubbers that continued to dance to its tune many years after the band disappeared, it is verging on proto deep house. In 19767, the band recorded one album, self-titled its release on the Turbo label, and then promptly broke up. Have a good weekend.

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Parcels – Overnight (2017)

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It’s not hard to hear that Parcels’ new single ‘Overnight’ is produced by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. Choppy guitars and disco handclaps, the Aussie-French combo is uplifting, easy listening and pressed on the Kitsuné label.

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Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better (2015)

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‘The Less I Know the Better’ was released by Tame Impala towards the end of 2015. Selected as the third single off the album Currents, the song flows from Kevin Parker’s love of “dorky disco”.

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Arcade Fire – Everything Now (2017)

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Daft Punk + Arcade Fire = ABBA, evidently. The disco-tinged title track of Arcade Fire’s new album Everything Now is co-produced by Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter. Released next month, the album is the follow-up to 2013’s Reflektor. Have a great weekend.

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Chromatics – Shadow (2015)

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The intense post-punk disco of Chromatics has been celebrated this week through the feature of 2015’s ‘Shadow’ on the new two-hour reboot of Twin Peaks.  In fact, Johnny Jewel and group appear on performing the song in the show’s Bang Bang Club.

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First Choice ‎- Doctor Love (1977)

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In 1977, First Choice comprised constants Rochelle Fleming and Annette Guest, with Ursula Herring half way through her stint as their number three. But as is the norm with a Salsoul production, the success of ‘Doctor Love’ is about the bigger team. The opening track off their album Delusions was written by the Philly musicians Felder, Tyson and Harris; it was mixed by Tom Moulton; and it was arranged by Norman Harris. That is calibre; at about 3 mins, after the upbeat vocals, just listen to that choppy guitar, drum and orchestral workout. So we start and end the week with disco. Have a great weekend.

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Rose Royce – Is It Love You’re After (1979)

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Monday or not, I just fancy a spot of disco. Rose Royce’s fourth album Rose Royce IV: The Rainbow Connection was the last to feature vocalist Gwen “Rose” Dickey, who had shined so brightly on hits like ‘Carwash’, ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ and ‘Wishing on a Star’. Produced by Norman Whitfield, ‘Is It Love You’re After’ was a testament to what the LA band would be losing. They would never reach such heights again, although the distinctive synthesised into would feature across dance floors a decade later, courtesy of S’Express.

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Jackie Stoudemire – Dancing (1983)

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In 1983, 17-year-old Harlem singer Jackie Stoudemire released ‘Dancing’ on label TAP Records. It’s an obscure late disco track beloved by crate-diggers. However, indie-pop merchant Jens Lekman heard it and used its insatiable groove on ‘#29’ of his Postcards undertaking. Throughout 2015, Lekman wrote and released a new song (“Postcard”) every week. And I thought a song a day was tough…

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Mr. Tophat feat. Robyn – Right Time (2017)

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Rudolf Nordström is Mr. Tophat. In January this year, he dropped this massive slice of space disco. ‘Right Time’ features Robyn Carlsson on vocals and appeared on  the DJ’s EP Trust Me. Have a great weekend,

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Cassiano ‎- Onda (1977)

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Heavily sampled on ‘Link Up’ by NxWorries, last year’s collaboration between Anderson.Paak and Knxlwledge, ‘Onda’ is a disco-infused track by Brazilian percussionist Sergio Cassiano. It features on his 1976 album Cuban Soul – 18 Kilates. Enjoy.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2016

My favourite sounds of 2016 in no particular order…

The Avalanches – Because I’m Me

Whitney – No Woman

Glass Animals – Life Itself

Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

The Strokes – Threat of Joy

Okkervil River – Okkervil River R.I.P.

The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – I Feel It Coming

Traumprinz – 2Bad

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Honourable mentions also go to: De La Soul for ‘Trainwreck‘; The Last Shadow Puppets for ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect‘; Let’s Eat Grandma for ‘Deep Six Textbook‘; Anderson .Paak for ‘Come Down‘; Solange for ‘Cranes In The Sky‘; DJ Snake for ‘Let Me Love You’; Honne for ‘Someone That Loves You‘; and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for ‘Rings Of Saturn‘.

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Daft Punk – Lose Yourself To Dance (2013)

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Featuring the well placed vocals of Pharrell Williams, ‘Lose Yourself To Dance’ is a celebratory disco track off Daft Punk’s 2013 album Random Access Memories. The YouTube video is the glitter ball on top. Have a great weekend.

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Electric Light Orchestra – The Whale (1977)

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As we emerge from a wet weekend, I use the tenuous opportunity to segue the ‘The Whale’. Off the ELO’s unreal gatefold album Out Of The Blue, this ambient track feels forever current with its Tame Impala-style trippy disco, vocoder sounds and electronic funk. Jeff Lynne, you are an unlikely genius. Have a great week.

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