Top Ten: Medlar

At the end of this month, we’re very excited to welcome Wolf Music ambassador Medlar to headline our party at Sportsmans Social Club. Decked with a carpet dancefloor and artex ceiling, it’s the perfect place for a sweaty evening of disco and boogie, and we can’t think of many better suited to be behind the decks. To warm us up for his set, Medlar has chosen ten tracks that he’s into at the moment. Some really great selections, to get you wiggling in your seat at work or dancing around the room if your movements are less restricted today. Listen to all tracks as a playlist below or tackle them one by one as you read through Medlar’s comprehensive thoughts.

Cela – I’m In Love

The last time I was at The Garage in Leeds (one of the best party spots in the UK in my opinion before it sadly closed it doors), I popped into Waxwerks which was the record store attached to the club. Tristan Da Cunha was in the shop that day and picked me out a white label record of Mike Dunn edits that his manager had just dropped off. I listened to the record and Dunn’s edit of I’m in love really stood out to me. I actually only discovered the original this afternoon and liked it so much that I’m including it here now.

Elixia – Soho Phaze

One of the more obscure boogie records I own, I discovered it in a local used record shop. I love the work with the delays and phasing on the master channel. It’s almost as though the engineer was bored and starting fucking about, which is awesome.

Brainstorm – On Our Way Home

I tend to reserve this kind of tune for the end of a set, and ideally the end of the night. It’s real feel good, hands-in-the-air late 70s stuff, almost halfway between disco and 70s soul. This one comes with a warning, it gets stuck in your head!

Oby Onyioha – Enjoy Your Life

The only record I ask nearly every shop I go into if they have… just in case. This African boogie record just draws you in. It’s been my favourite track since I discovered it. Really well written, nice production and a great performance from the band and Oby Onyioha herself. Luckily the WAV is available to buy so I can play it while I’m holding out for the LP.

Patti Labelle – The Spirit’s In It

My transition track when I want to hit the higher tempos of disco and jazz funk, which can be some of the best music to dance to in the right context. It has one of those screaming diva intros and you can just chuck it in at any moment that might benefit from a screaming diva!

Carol Williams – Can’t Get Away

I have a thing about 3-bar disco grooves. The best known/played is probably Arthur Russell’s work on Is It All Over My Face by Loose Joints, or perhaps Bourgie Bourgie by Ashford & Simpson, which are both classics from the Paradise Garage era I believe. This track I found recently, I think it was in a list or chart on Greg Wilson’s website, where I’ve discovered a lot of killer early 80s tracks.

Cheri – Give It To Me

The second of the 3-bar-groovers! This track is great fun and the vocals even turn French partway through, which is undoubtedly one of the coolest things a tune can do. I have nice memories of playing it on an artificial beach during a daytime set last summer outside the Glazart in Paris.

Sylvia Striplin – Give Me Your Love

Roy Ayers is a total genius and it doesn’t get much better in my opinion. He worked with Sylvia Striplin on a few projects and arranged and produced this one. Sylvia was in a group called the Eighties Ladies, who Roy Ayers also produced. They did a great album in 1980, which I believe has got a reissue recently!

Herbie Hancock – You Bet Your Love

A track which didn’t strike me as much of a dance floor weapon, but when I listened to the 12″ it really struck a chord with me for some reason. The talk box vocals near the beginning have a cheeky boogie inspired sound that almost makes me laugh. Then by the time you’re at the end, it’s fist pumping all the way… “Better bet better bet your love!”.

First Choice – Double Cross (Larry Levan Remix)

Proper reach for the disco ball action! So epic and those chops sound so good. It’s often that I’ll start playing disco partway through a set and one person will be hating it while everyone else is having fun. In those situations tracks like this can test those doubters as they have so much weight behind them. They even have as much bang as a lot of modern electronic production, if not more!

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