Mary Clarke – Take Me I’m Yours (La Shawn)
Like anything that reaches a level of unprecedented global popularity, disco started to have its detractors by the late 1970s, most famously in the “Disco Sucks” campaign started by Detroit rock radio DJ Steve Dahl. This, in turn, prompted a backlash from the disco underground and in-house producer at P&P Records, Patrick Adams, joined the likes of Arthur Russell in creating an unconventional chapter in the genre’s history. It was a sound that fused the world of Jamaican dub and early synthesizers to make disco that was hazy, hallucinogenic and, at times, terrifying; million miles from the stuff played on the airwaves. Like all great disco producers worth their salt, Adams could also make what can only be described as a belter. With its sweeping strings, triumphant horns and Clarke’s stunning vocals, there is no track as joyous or uplifting as ‘Take Me I’m Yours’ in the great man’s catalogue.
New York Noise – Dance Music from the New York Underground 1978-1992 (Soul Jazz)
The influence of Patrick Adam can also be heard all over New York Noise, which has finally been repressed on the ever dependable Soul Jazz. Often credited by journalists as a vital period in the evolution of music, yet unfairly ignored by the wider public , the compilation brings together the best artists from the most fertile period of the New York post-punk scene (1978-1992). With a vacuum left open as the golden era of (interesting and authentic) punk and disco were on the wane, artists like Konk and ESG fused the two genres’ disparate influences together with dub technics to craft something truly spellbinding and innovative. Hats off to Soul Jazz once again, very few label dedicate so much attention and care in their quest to put out great music and educate in equal measure.
B.B.Seaton – Dancing In The Moonlight Jam (Jamwax)
While disco may have mutated into post-punk, new wave and house music across the pond, by the 1980s it’s influences was still being felt around the globe. It even wound up on the shores of Jamaica, the nation of ska, dub, reggae and the first sound system, whose influence on American music and culture should never be underestimated. Produced by the legendary Coxsone Dodd in 1986, BB Seaton’s Dancing in the Moonlight is the best example of what can only be described as disco dub reggae. Like the best hybrids it fuses all the best elements of each genre, the programmed beats, squelchy bass tones, shimmering synths and muted guitar, into a satisfying and wonderful whole.
Leron Carson & D. Wilson – Tracks from the Tape (Sound Signature)
Whereas most labels use every possible means to promote their material, Theo Parrish and his label Sound Signature have other ideas. Like the Detroit legend himself, the imprint pulls no punches with very little advertising, online presence and only the rare repress, so if you missed a copy your unlikely to ever grab one again. This makes the reissue of Tracks from the Tape – a 1989 collaborative effort between Michigan’s Leron Carson and Deron Wilson (also known as hip hop producer No Id, the mentor of Kanye West) – something of a holy grail. Both tracks are unfussy, spiky acid workouts, containing all the rawness, groove and grit you expect from a classic Sound Signature record.
DJ Slym Fas – Luv Music (Intangible Records & Soundworks)
Tony Oliviera is another American house legend whose past work has always been notoriously hard to get a hold of. Released on Terence Parker’s Intangible imprint under the alias DJ Slym Fas in 1997, Luv Music is one of his best, in a career packed full of brilliant productions. A favourite of Motor City Drum Ensemble, it is a nonchalant, breezy and beautiful house record, filled with sumptuous jazz keys and delicate vocals. One of those rare dance records which sounds as good on a cosy Sunday afternoon as it does in sweaty club in the early hours of the morning.