MAKE IT LAST

nature zone – porcupine
average white band – work to do
sirarcusa – streap tease in the stars
satin & green – spectacular
quincy jones feat patti austin – betcha’ wouldn’t hurt me
chaka khan – clouds
johnnie taylor – ooh wee she’s killing me
mandy b jones – 1 2 3 4
fred wesley – house party (berry juice edit)
prince – controversy (LNTG muscle mix)
george benson – on broadway
first love – don’t say goodnight
maynard ferguson – pagliacci (claussell edit)
stevie wonder – as if (underdog edit)
earth wind & fire – september (reflex remix)
voyage – lady america
inner life feat jocelyn brown – make it last forever

 


MIX NOTES

Porcupine – Random bit of early funky disco from 1976, written by Steve Feldman and Tom Dawes. Tom Dawes was a bass player for The Cyrkle, a 60s pop group that opened 14 dates on the Beatles first world tour. He later became a producer and jingle writer, best known for “plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is” for alka seltzer. The more you know…

Work To Do – 1974 cover from the AWB album, which every DJ on earth owns (or damn well should). Brecker Brothers doing work in that horn section. Doesn’t top the Isleys original, but it’s still extremely funky, and Gene Paul (Les Paul’s son) really knew how to mix a record.

Streap-Tease In the Stars – Yes, it’s actually spelled like that. Spacey disco record from Spain written by the famous 1960s and 70s production team the “Duo Dinamico” – Manolo and Ramon Arcusa – also credited with blowing up Julio Iglesias in about 1977.

Spectacular – Flash forward to 1982 for a somewhat cheesy glammy disco song about fancy restaurants and Valentino neckties. This was produced by Montreal’s Tony Green, who also worked with France Joli. The female vocalist is not credited but she captures that late 70s glam vibe perfectly.

Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me – I heard this awhile back at a party and remembered just how much I fucking love this song. It appears on Quincy Jones’ iconic “The Dude” LP (1981). Stevie Wonder wrote the track with Stephanie Andrews and he even plays synths. The album won 3 Grammys, and Quincy won producer of the year. Steve Lukather from Toto plays the guitar lick that will stay in your head for days.

Clouds – Chaka belting it out as only Chaka can, with back up singers Cissy Houston & her daughter Whitney, who was only 16 at the time. Ashford & Simpson wrote the track, and it has their signature multi-bridge structure all over it. This album (“Naughty”) also contains the wonderful “Papillion” which you can hear on THIS MIX

Ooh Wee She’s Killin’ Me – Tight edit I grabbed from the web of this 1979 floor-filler from Mr Taylor. It was cowritten by Randy McCormack from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and the horns are mos def testament to that.

1 2 3 4 – One hit wonder from 1977 that was likely more of a hit to obscure disco record collectors 30 years later. You don’t hear too many acoustic guitars in disco, either. The weird 12” cover says it all

House Party (berry juice edit) – I try to avoid remixes of classic disco songs that pitch up the original track and add thicker drums, just on general principle – but sometimes it just kinda works. This is one such case. Just try not to nod your head to this shit.

Controversy (LNTG muscle mix) – That thing I said above about beefing up old tracks? Same goes for this shit. Sonically, it’s a bit soupy, but the thick baseline makes it all worth it. Still one of the best Prince songs ever. Maybe top 5 for me. LNTG (Late Nite Tuff Guy) is Adelaide DJ Carmelo Bianchietti. His disco edits are consistently dope/ Peep his Michael McDonald edit on THIS MIX

On Broadway – When I was 9 years old, this was the best fucking song I had ever heard. I used to come home from school, turn on the radio, and sit in front of my Dad’s speaker with a hand held tape recorder, waiting for it to come on the radio so I could record it. Still sounds great to this day. Pay attention to how little percussion is really in this thing. Drums don’t actually kick in until almost the end.

Don’t Say Goodnight – Four girls from Chicago that put out several 12”s and only one album, starting in 1980. Produced by Donald Burnside, who worked on a lot of disco from that era, including Captain Sky and Yvonne Gage. Sounds very Nile Rodgers to me, in the best way.

Pagliacci (Clausell edit) – Brooklyn’s Clubhouse Jamboree founder and fellow DJ Lil Ray posted this on Facebook a month back and when the flute kicked in I was like “god DAMN!”. Check it out LIVE, complete with the whole trumpet beginning, from the Dinah Shore show LOL . That horn section is on point.

As If (Underdog edit) – Chicago veteran and fellow DHP vet Leonard Part Sixx has been carrying the torch for Chicago disco edits for the last 10 years, pressing them on white label vinyl and many DJs I know never leave home without them. My other favorite of his is LTG Exchange “Corazon”, which you can here on THIS MIX

September (Reflex remix) – Just when you thought there was never a reason to mess with a perfect song, this Relfex dude makes it work – mostly by isolating instruments and melodies that you never really paid attention to in the original version. Try as you might, you can’t hate on this.

Lady America – A great high-energy cut form 1978 that almost achieves Broadway-esque vocal crescendos. These guys were favorites of the Paris disco scene and often backed up cats like Cerrone and even Manu Dibango. They put out four albums before disbanding to work on solo projects and other collaborations. Guitarist Andre “Slim” Pezin went on to films, including the soundtrack for Betty Blue, which was a rep theater favorite of mine in 1986.

Make It Last Forever – Danny Krivit played this at about 8pm on New Year’s Day at Santos Party House this year and it was heavenly. If she’s not already, Jocelyn Brown should be on your top 5 disco vocalists of all time. She’s a one-woman soul powerhouse.


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