Friday, May 05, 2006

Funky Friday Is Dedicated To Disco

Tom Moulton is a pioneer in dance music. A legend of the disco era, he is widely credited with the invention of the 12" remix in the early '70s. This was quite a task at the time - no computers or sequencers, so it was all physical cuts of the tape looped and tweaked to extend breaks and orchestral passages, all in service of that perfect dancefloor moment. The ever excellent Brit archival label Soul Jazz has put together a double CD (or quadruple vinyl) set of Tom Moulton mixes entitled A Tom Moulton Mix. The title refers to the phrase that appeared on all the labels of the mixes he did, and they are numerous and brilliant. The majority of the mixes on offer are promo only or previously unreleased acetates, and the list of artists is impressive; BT Express, Andrea True Connection's More More More, Issac Hayes, Grace Jones' La Vie En Rose, MFSB, Detroit Emeralds and Eddie Kendricks' Keep On Truckin' are all included, some tracks extended into nine or ten minutes of blissed out disco greatness. This is a must have for fans of disco (and dance) music. Here are a couple of my current faves...

Patti Jo - Make Me Believe In You (1975) This is a Curtis Mayfield song from disc 1 that features a smoking riff, very reminiscent of the groove from Shaft, with tick-tock beats, piano vamps and flute riffage, a great vocal performance and gradually increasing string arrangements. Fantastically soulful and grooving.

Orlando Riva Sound - Moonboots (1977) A super instrumental (except for the disco lollies singing "moooooooonboots") filled with all manner of crusty, early '70s synthesizer goodness. Sci-fi disco, baby.

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