"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Sunday, 20 January 2008

New York Trilogy

In the third post devoted to the New York sound, we go back to 1970 when DJ David Mancuso held his first party at The Loft and laid down the blueprint for the modern club. The track Life on Mars by Dexter Wansel is taken off the classic compliation David Mancuso Presents the Loft and I don't know if it's a joke but there's a used copy of this CD going for $999 on Amazon. Perhaps eBay or your local record store would be a better option. Both The Loft and Nicky Siano's The Gallery were big influences on Larry Levan, who became resident DJ at the Paradise Garage in 1977 and took disco towards house and garage. Listen to Can't shake your love from 1981 by Syreeta Wright (Stevie Wonder's first wife, who went on to sing the truly appalling "With you I'm born again" with Billy Preston). While not being his most famous mix, it's a good example of the Levan approach as he builds up the groove from a conventional disco beat and gives each element just the right amount of space, even allowing a second of silence before Syreeta unleashes a high pitch squeal. To finish off, listen to this tribute called Steam and Sequins for Larry Levan by electronica duo Matmos. A good place to start with Levan is Journey into Paradise - The Larry Levan Story (Buy here or here).

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