Author Archive: Andrew Clapper

Runaway, Indoor Pool

The Let’s Play House imprint launches with the Indoor Pool single by Runaway, featuring remixes from Soft Rocks, Slow Hands and Beautiful Swimmers.

Little White Earbuds Interviews Black Devil Disco Club

In this translated email interview with LWE, Bernard Fevre reflects restlessly on his laurels, shedding a hint of light on his untimely vision, while leading us further astray, the Black Devil way.

Cage & Aviary, Beat N Path

If “Giorgio Carpenter” and “Television Train” told us anything about Cage & Aviary, it’s that Jamie Paton and Nigel Hoyle are good listeners. Heavily referential, both tracks relied on in one sense — and racked up in another — some serious musical credit, while somehow managing to skip the bill when it came time to pay the price for the goods. There’s something cool as cucumber about their synthetic style and the slow developmental arc of their tracks. They take ample time to celebrate their collective and contrasting influences (i.e. disco, Italo, post-punk, white-boy funk, indie rock, new wave, all the way up to early Chicago and acid house) without sounding derivative, predictable, or feeling the need to rush headlong into blatantly new territory.

Bottin, Horror Disco

As if names and nationalities really meant something, Italian producer William (Guglielmo) Bottin’s Horror Disco erects a monolithic mass of exceptionally crafted and intricate Italo-disco that might not send you shrieking into the night, but most certainly horrifies — in some sense of the word. While its obvious historical lineage begins with the oft-intertwined horror movies and disco of late-70s Italy (à la Claudio Simonetti), the conception of Horror Disco was largely the result of a chance encounter with a vintage Italian-made Farfisa Syntorchestra synthesizer that resulted in the title-track and then served as a blueprint for the work as a whole. Essentially a collection of variations, the album’s fourteen tracks, each around five or six minutes long, thematically bring Bottin’s horrific vision to light. It is at times groovy like a Munich Machine, campy like the B-list, and lurid like a Dario Argento film, but never forced, inane, or boring. Horror might be a genre better filmed or written, but with Bottin’s sound it reveals striking dance floor potential.

Linkwood, System

Prime Numbers has surfaced from the wading pool of deep house labels at a remarkable rate. Considering the apparent nonchalance of Prime No. 1 David Wolstencroft (best known as Trus’me), the consistency and quality of PN’s catalog is almost surprising. Developing an identifiable sound around a close-knit and capable collection of producers in just a few years requires equal amounts of luck, astute determination, and obviously, trust. Both eerie and warm, indivisible and expansive, reflective and current, the Prime Numbers sound boogies down like tears in rain. Prime producers like Reggie Dokes (owner of Detroit’s Psychostasia Recordings), Linkwood (Nick Moore), and Fudge Fingas (Gavin Sutherland) share Wolstencroft’s ethos to the point of near interchangeability (as evinced by the mixed disc of last years PN comp), while maintaining fresh takes on the sound. But with only bits and pieces thus far (albeit bright and poignant ones), and with Trus’me’s second album In the Red yet to see the light of day, it’s still to be seen how this collective drive should play out in greater detail. With System, Moore has slow-brewed just such a model, while further rendering his thematic preoccupations and once again proving his consummate production style.

Social Disco Club & Maia, The Way You Move

The name of Social Disco Club’s monthly party in Porto, Portugal is “Are You Re-Edit?” which up to now has been an apt description of Humberto Matias’s dance floor MO. On the SDC blog, Matias has been exploring the history and consequences of disco and posting choice and cheeky vinyl-rips and re-edits since 2007. His wholehearted enthusiasm (even for the English language) has made the SDC a popular watering hole on the disco blog circuit and eventually given him the opportunity to reach a vinyl audience last year with releases on Spanish label OCSID Music and Belgian label Mindless Boogie. While “The Way You Move” shows Matias trying his hand at original production with X-Wife band member and fellow Porto native Rui Maia, it clearly reflects a re-edit sensibility with some left of center vocal sampling and a restrained, indulging pace that maintains both tension and release.

Still Going, Spaghetti Circus/Untitled Love

On July 12, 1979, during the intermission of a doubleheader between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers, rock radio DJ Steve Dahl hosted an event called Disco Demolition Derby at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Amidst cries of “disco sucks!” a seething army of Middle America, fifty thousand strong, participated in the destruction of disco records, culminating in a near-riot and prompting the appearance of police on horseback. Though the myopic, racist, homophobic nature of such an event should be glaringly obvious, the likes of Dahl have had a lasting effect on popular conceptions of dance music, and particularly of disco. Since then, the efforts of those who produce and play disco are often branded with the faddish tag, “revival,” invoking the “day disco died” as an actual fact and a possible recurrence.