Fuck Calvin Harris, Larry Levan invented disco. Yeah, you can credit at least a dozen people with the creation of the relatively ephemeral fad that swept New York and Comiskey Park in the late 70s and early 80s: Giorgio Moroder, Frankie Knuckles, Sal Abatiello, Tony Manero, Disco Stu. But for the purposes of this blog post, we’ll give it to Larry Levan, the DJ mastermind behind New York’s Paradise Garage, the spot that served as the prime incubator for disco, house, and the dance party as we currently conceive it.
I’m not sure how I didn’t catch the recording of the Paradise Garage’s second anniversary (1979) when it leaked about six weeks ago, but I finally wrangled it this weekend. Credit goes to Isodisco for dropping gems on us that Mobb Deep would probably loathe. Originally a radio broadcast recorded by Lenny Fontana on his father’s reel, the tape was transferred to DAT in the early 90s and eventually to the slightly muddy MP3 you hear today. Pay no mind, the funk bleeds through all levels of distortion. And don’t get caught in the usual “disco sucks sentiment.” This was pop music at its finest: fun, danceable, soulful, and as organic as Whole Foods in contrast to the normal swill that we currently consume.
Shlohmo’s FACT mix is, frankly, sublime. In terms of genre, it’s all over the shop – from slowed-down edits of Tears for Fears, Clipse and Monica to Tom Waits and Charles Manson – but like Bad Vibes, it flows miraculously well, and feels cohesive in the face of diversity. We really can’t recommend it highly enough.
Tracklist: Tears for Fears – Head Over Heels (slowed and blowed mix) Groundislava – Final Impasse Charles Manson – Invisible Tears Allure ft. Nas – Head Over Heels (slow) – cassingle Three 6 Mafia – Stash Pot – Smoked Out, Loced Out Asura – The Killing Moon (Echo and the Bunnymen cover) – shlohmo weirdo re-edit Clipse ft. Bilal – Nightmares (slow) – Hell Hath No Fury Salem – Release Da Boar – King Night Monica – Sideline Ho (Chopped and Screwed) Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross – White Sun – Blow EP Excerpt from a dub cassette i found in a shoebox with my friend on mission st. san francisco. Broken Sinead O’Connor cassette. Big Mike – World of Mine (slow) – cassingle The Weeknd – What You Need – House of Balloons Karen O – Hello Tomorrow (slow) – audio rip from that adidas commercial from like 7 years ago or something Tom Waits – Dirt in the Ground – Bone Machine Shlohmo – Just Us – Bad Vibes