The Three Degrees know all about them and so does Jezinky from Hungary.
The 80s were about wearing black on black, not exhanging bodily fluids, forgetting about New York and flying to London instead. Grace Jones and Pedro Almodóvar made immense impact. The best fonts were by Neville Brody, seen in magazines like Face and the Arena. From France, Philippe Starck emerged as the new designer god. Communism fell, MTV was born and there was famine in Ethiopia. Nights were spent on watching horror movies in cinemas and ultraviolent Hong Kong gangster films on vhs but people still danced on weekends. Computers took over. Anything else…no, that’s pretty much it.
The sounds? Here’s some of the right stuff in a mix.
German krautrock band Satin Whale composed the soundtrack for the 1978 movie “Die Faust in der Tasche (Fist in the pocket)”. Quite good record all the way through. Lot’s of synth action!
Russia, our spiritual Motherland of abundant resources, stretching across 12 time zones! You will all stand up during the introduction and when the modern disco music begins with the heroic sounds of Kalashnikovs you will all clap your hands in rhythm.
Unexplainably my favourite track of the moment, a Czechoslovakian version of the been-there heard-it-a-million-times medley of hits from The Ritchie Family.
A Great strange dream called summer is over. Somehow the ascension to autumn is not yet in the horizon as everything still resembles the summer. Perhaps these days of transition are best spend on the road. Eventually all these roads lead to Tartu, Estonia this Saturday. Enter the empowering world of cosmic disco at the Psühhodisko II Konverents at the Genialistide Klubi. Feel free to join the party and enjoy a mixture of haunting synths, tribal drums and irresistibly pumping disco bass!
The Habanera means a “Dance from Havana.” This musical style originated in Cuba’s capitol in the middle of the 19th century and soon spread like syphilis through the rest of the Spanish speaking regions. In 1872 the Habanera captivated European composer Bizet who borrowed the style for his opera Carmen and made it known across the globe.
This odd 1976 disco version of the Bizet hit is of Japanese origin.
Heroic space themes from the USSR, from an unidentified album made in 1982. The lp has a generic sleeve with pictures of yellow flowers, no texts of any kind. Track number 3 has an intro apparently lifted off the St Johns tune from 1979.
It’s essentially the spiritual sequel to The Unnamed Avenger Minimix. It’s still as strange and for sure totally lacks direction. This time we trade cosmic luchadores and Bollywood fighters for Afro super sentais. Sort of. Enjoy.
The Unnamed Avenger Minimix 2 (right-click to save)
Kudos to Jussi and Discotruper for part of the selection. (more…)
A record played a lot at the sensory twilight zone that was the Budapest discothéque, the oddest chance ever to dance in Helsinki. Originally a failed Hungarian restaurant, the place went disco in 1977 with minimal effort – they simply got a so-so sound system and dragged out the furniture apart from a couple of random wooden chairs. No special disco lights were installed to this zero budget dance palace, or anything else resembling decoration.
Shoving the entrance fee across a table placed in the bare downstairs lobby where the doors to the toilets were, you climbed up a winding staircase and entered a world of loud music and almost inpenetrable blackness. The club was so dark your eyes had trouble adjusting and all you could do is either stay there standing until they did or try to stagger towards a single dim lightbulb flickering across the hall. On your way you’d bump into apparations shaking in the dark like lost souls trapped in some sort of hellish urban cave, announcing their existence with lit cigarettes. When you reached the only illuminated part of the shapeless smoke filled space you noticed the light came from a narrow hole in a wall, cut something like one meter high. This is what constituted a “bar” at the Budapest. On the other side in an equally dimly lit room there was a table next to the hole, with two kinds of bottles lined up: regular beer and Lonkero, a local foul tasting blue-tinged long drink mixture that has, in 2016, suddenly acquired cult status in Japan. A grim faced matron sat by the table, taking your money without a word.
You’d only hear about thirty different tracks played at the Buda, as it was known among it’s habituées, during any night as the dj favoured the longest possible records. This must have been out of necessity as the booth had one tiny blue spot of light above the decks. Romeo and Juliet, Get On The Funk Train, Watch Out For The Boogie Man, From Here To Eternity, I Love America, here was the place to fully get lost in the sound. You kept on dancing, oscillating and jerking in a state of virtual blindness, hoping your need to piss would go away.
The Buda is STILL there, under a different name and management and with more light.
Icons Florinda Bolkan, Cat Stevens and Helmut Berger photographed outside a discothéque. It can’t be Le Sept in Paris as there was no canopy to announce the club at 7 Rue St Anne, just an anonymous black door. It’s not the Voom Voom either in Juan Les Pins judging by the clothes they’re wearing as nobody went there off season. Perhaps what we’re seeing is the entrance of the famous Piper club in Rome or the Audium in Madrid?
Finally it’s here, a new record by the cosmic force behind Den Haan’s epic Gods From Outer Space album, and it’s a cause for celebration. The familiar dynamics are intact and the tone is as hedonistic as ever but the music does not loop back on itself. Strides are taken toward a new destination, somewhere resembling the Almerian region in Spain where the legendary spaghetti westerns were shot.
Three of the four tracks on my demo pressing ascend to frenzied, laser synth peaks with rolling thunder basslines, haunting melodies, moody whistling sounds and all around weirdness and toughness. Then there’s one mellow tune that pours dark, delicious tasting liquids over your naked body as you squirm with pleasure. Everything you hear presents a full manifestation of carefully constructed ideas and is executed with technical four-on-the-floor finesse.
Here’s a taster of the stuff. You’ll want it all, obviously. It’ll be available soon.